It’s said that if you want to add something new into your life, you need to make room for it to grow and flourish.
So it was with me. I wanted to develop my creative side but it was all talk and no action. Investing big chunks of time dabbling with paints and markers seemed so “wasteful”. There always seemed to be something more important to do.
I finally recognized that anything worth pursuing deserved to be scheduled and so it was that I designated a day every week as my “artsy” day.
At first I got my creative feet wet experimenting with rocks. Those of you who follow my Instagram account Wise Rocks have seen some of my handiwork. Pretty basic stuff.
It didn’t take long before I felt like I was ready for more, so I decided to up the challenge. I had been assured by many different people that we all have an inner artist ready to be engaged and inspired, so I took my paints to canvas.
It was an exercise in frustration and I had to concede that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I could either throw my hands in the air and quit, plod along blissfully ignorant, or try to get some instruction.
While the former felt very attractive, I chose the latter.
After looking at a few online how-to videos, I quickly came to the conclusion that I was in over my head, so I moved to Plan B – I went looking for an art studio where I could take lessons.
I prefer human interaction in a learning environment but I don’t believe that one-size-fits-all, so finding the ‘right’ place was important to me. I wanted a place that would be friendly and nurturing for a newbie like me to learn how to stretch my artistic wings.
It took weeks, but I finally succeeded. I found my place.
Under Sylvia’s guidance, I completed two small rather simple canvases but then she strongly encouraged me to try my first landscape painting. Her enthusiasm was contagious and so with blind faith I dove into this new project at the end of November.
She guided me through blocking out the canvas and working each box to sketch the image. I was thrilled with the result and could have happily ended here, satisfied that I actually drew something recognizable. This was a major accomplishment for someone who always felt like they couldn’t draw a straight line with a ruler.
But, no … apparently I was just getting started.
Over the past 2 months I’ve been slowly getting more comfortable with mixing colours, softly blending edges as I paint, and making corrections when something doesn’t work quite the way I intended.
… and now my landscape, which I’ve titled “On The Trail”, is finally finished.
I couldn’t be more thrilled with the end result. As I said to Sylvia as the finishing touches were completed, if she could guide someone like me into painting a landscape like this, then she must be a mighty fine teacher.
So, back to my original question in the title of this post – I have no doubts that an old dog can learn new tricks. Regardless of our age, our capacity for learning should never be underestimated.
If I can learn to paint, then surely just about anything you can imagine is possible.