August 2022 Blog
If I can, so can you...
Over the years I've learned that no matter what you create, it's yours. Good. Bad. Or indifferent...It's your creation.
"Mistake" is not a word I use in Dagger's workshops or even in our studio. Trying and persevering are words that are used.
Positive reenforcement and having fun are paramount when we
create, learn and inspire.
I've also learned that keeping dates on creations provides
two very important things:
1. It's a great way to document your creations.
2. It's an even more important way to see just how you've
grown in your craft.
As an artist, I'm mindful of the way I've slowly improved in my drawings. I used to get all upset when I wasn't able to master "making the doggie look like the doggie"...so to speak. Now, I look at things in a different light. I give myself a break and let the creating prowess flow from me. What a relief it is to know that it's okay to have the courage to insert the initial line on a piece of paper and go with the flow! Even my painting style has changed over the years. It's freer and looser. Many of the great masters got more relaxed over time too. Not that I would even try to compare myself with the likes of Michelangelo or Monet. But, I have noticed a big difference in my paintings over time. Perhaps, it's a sense of confidence or even experience. I'm not sure. It could be eyesight too. Ha! Ha! All I know is that as I've studied my works over time, I can see differences in technique and style. I've also learned that Michelangelo's last sculpture's were more abstract and loose in style than his previous works. Claude Monet's large Impressionistic magnificent paintings of his Lilly pond were quite abstract as the viewer gets closer to the painting. If you look at Jackson Pollack's earlier works, they were very realistic compared to his Abstract Expressionistic "Drip Technique" later works.
Moreover, I'm convinced that Dagger has taught me a thing or two as well. Being a sort of "chill" kind of dog, Dagger has encouraged me in his own little four-legged way that painting from your heart is the way to create. When Dagger paints, his brush stroke lands where it lands as he moves his head in different directions. The outcome is always magnificent! As I gaze at his true pure abstract works, I can see so many things in his paintings such as, angels, frogs, birds, flowers and so many other representational things. Dagger has also taught me that anyone can create! I always say to the students that are in his workshops..."If Dagger can do it, so can you!" I recall a workshop we had at an assisted living residence once. A 104 year old nun resisted participating in the workshop. She kept saying, "I'm here to learn about Dagger and watch. I don't want to paint." I convinced her that there were no mistakes..."whatever you paint", I told her, "is your masterpiece. Your very own creation." She relented and ended up painting. She had the time of her life. It took her 104 years to discover that she had beauty that needed to be expressed from her heart on canvas. She smiled from ear to ear. I will never forget the happiness we all felt as we watched her create. Sometimes all it just takes is a little positive coaxing and a first step.
Taking the first step is key to creating anything. I equate it to taking a plunge into a pool of water. It's cold. It's vulnerable. But once we take the plunge into the pool of creating it's a wonderful, magical, and educational experience. That initial jump is so paramount to the creating process. Sometimes it entails sitting for minutes. sometimes it will take longer. As for me, there are many times when I sit and think about what it is that I'd like to create on a two dimensional surface. This can take a few minutes to hours figuring out what I'd like to paint. Unless, of course, it's a commission. Then most of my work is done already. Since I specialize in pet portraiture and work from photos, I pretty much have my subject matter right in front of me. I've always been amazed at how immersed I become when I start a project. Most of the time I'll loose track of time. Time means nothing when I create. Unless, of course, I have an appointment later in the day. Then and only then do I put a timer on to remind me to stop. As the timer goes off... I resist the urge to move away and clean up. Oh...I get so upset when I can't continue my work! I've heard that this is a common occurrence with many artists. I'm tickled when I see the students in Dagger's workshops working well past the time allotted. It brings me back to thinking of my days in the studio when I too got lost in my own work. What a great feeling!
So, take the plunge! 💦
Remember, whatever you create... it's yours. You created it.
Be proud of yourself for taking the first step to creating.
If Dagger and I can do it...So can you!
You jumped into the wonderful world of creating.
Now, Date it. Sign it (if you wish). And cherish it!
Happy Tales to you,
A Place where I can Bark, Blog and Woof a Little
written by Yvonne Dagger