Sunday, April 26, 2009


As young children...all of us view the world "straight on"...with a fully frontal perspective and our "first language" in terms of described in our picture-making. Our feelings happy, or sad are expressed with no hesitation or fear of a personal palette of colours which we choose out of our own preferences. Our subjects are the important things about us in our still very limited world...and need no "rules"... classification or formulae to guide the creative process.How pure , simple...and joyful is that period in EACH ONE our early childhood lives!How sad that by the time we reach adolescence...that joy and creative feeling has vanished...forever in the greater population of adults.

I can't tell you the number of times I have had grown adult men and women say:" I can't even draw a stick man" or...I haven't got a creative bone in my body."As well, they seem unable to recognize that true creativity is not reserved just for visual art expression.Yet where individuals are willing to risk returning to their creative journey in visually expressing themselves...I find that most all not only find a level of achievement they had never dreamed of... but they regain a level of self-esteem they had earlier believed the could never have thought possible for themselves.

As in all situations in life where individuals wish to change an area of their lives,there must be clearly seen a strong need by the individual to seek that change and a willingness to receive advice and to risk persevering beyond a lack of success in the past. I liken that process to: learning to print individual letters of the alphabet in both cases...proceeding to associating sounds to each letter...followed to joining those letters into meaningful vocabulary..then to the making of phrases , sentences and paragraphs...and finally to the creation of stories, essays, prose, poems and other creative language forms of expression.

What I am trying to say is that any person open to instruction and practice can work through the basic creative building blocks towards making a creditable picture or painting. However, I am also stating that most people who undertake the challenge of visual expression can hardly expect to reach or surpass the level picture making that their mentor or teacher has acquired,dedicating an entire life to that end. What they can achieve is a vast amount of personal pleasure and a new and bold adventure which will enrich their lives beyond their wildest dreams.

"Truly Seeing"

Truly "seeing"....involves a lot more than simply looking. Looking is usually a temporary,or cursory act simply to observe briefly...and then carry on. "Seeing"...on the other hand... to me necessitates a lengthier time given to analyzing,comparing,measuring,evaluating to truly"understand"...rather than just to observe.

This skill is most important in my own estimate to both beginning and sustaining the ongoing "education"path that any person must follow to increase their artistic expression. For some of us,it is an innate part of our personality. We are often viewed as "too curious"......"day dreamers"...."not paying attention"..."off in our own little world"...ALL of which are true!

Basically, we all learn through four sensory channels: sight,hearing,taste and touch.Ideally, we should incorporate a balanced combination of all four to be successful in social situations...most especially in school. Unfortunately, we are all products of school experiences which are more heavily weighted towards listening...then copying what has been spoken...and then being tested long afterward to evaluate our "success"...even intelligence and aptitude for future success in life.

Only a fortunate few escape this devaluing experience. Those who manage to do so can thank caring and respectful parents...or a teacher or"mentor" who contributes the necessary interest and encouragement of the talent they discern early. I was blessed to have been nurtured by all three of these caring individuals."I" am...who you helped "Me" to become...and "I" am forever grateful for your gifts!

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Shaky Start

I spend most of my times these days working solo...especially when painting in the outdoors.Being alone to work with my thoughts and ideas is new to me really...being a school teacher for almost thirty years demanded that I "was always available" to help others learn ...and to reach their fullest potential.

I paint occasionally with a few close friends, but much enjoy communing with my own thoughts...and to move about freely in search of subjects that appeal to me on my own schedule.

Perhaps this might seem somewhat selfish to some...but with too many years already behind me...I cherish each and every opportunity to get "out there"and to search out those sacred places..."beside still waters."Each hour...with good health and good painting are amongst my richest blessings!

Perhaps this blog might be a way to share my findings in a personal and open manner...and still retain this independence.I invite you to join "Me" in this way ... to comment...and to add to my ideas expressed here on this site!
Cheers!...and good painting to all!
Bruce Sherman