During the Creative Process
I had a forever ago student reach out to me last week, looking for input on a project they were considering.
I knew I had familiarity with this and figured I had some notes filed away on my computer that might be helpful. As I began ‘flipping’ through folders, it reminded me of how wonderful it is to have artist friends. Those we can go to for input, advice, and encouragement.
‘Cause no matter how much our family and friends may love us, let’s face it….when it comes to us and our art-making…someone who is in the trenches with us, creatively speaking, brings a whole lot more. There is richness, wisdom, and understanding to be found.
As artists, much of what we do is solitary. We are deep in our thoughts when we’re in full creative swing—and it’s bliss. Then we come up for air and need input, need to bounce crazy ideas around. The exchange that happens among creatives is so needful. What may be a tiny seed of a dream can find full expression due to talking it out with another artist.
Through all the ups and downs, failing and trying again, so many accomplished artists have been my salvation. The shared knowledge, priceless.
I had one artist that I’d just met, pull me aside at one of my workshops, and tell me,
‘Dreama, be sure, in all that you are doing, to take time for yourself. Seriously. Don’t burn yourself out. Teaching and giving are important, but taking care of yourself is vital.’
I listened. Thank you, Chris!
(Chris Bart later became part of the Dream Team, helping us engineer our first big out of the country painting course, Once Upon a Time in Provence. Chris has a gentle spirit, the world’s biggest heart, and makes beautiful art.)
I once asked Hedi,
‘What can I do to get better, what can I do to improve my work?’.
She told me something I never expected to hear. She told me to teach. I listened. Thank you, Hedi!
(Hedi Moran is one of the most generous teachers I’ve ever met. Witty and talented to boot. She was for me what Barbara Walters was to Oprah Winfrey 😉 )
Cate knew there was a course that I really wanted to take, but it cost a lot. It meant investing in me, which brought up all kinds of fear. We met for lunch one day, and as we were departing, she stuffed a note in my bag. Inside were her handwritten words telling me to go for it and… a check. Art friends who believe in us are maybe one of the best gifts in life. Thank you, Cate!
(Cate is walking determination. Thoughtful, intuitive and creative in everything she touches.)
I confess to taking a workshop from Jerry Fresia because Chris Bart had told me that I needed to meet this guy. And so I did. And she was right. The words he speaks about the art-making process reflect so much how I feel about painting. He gets it! To hear his thoughts is like sitting down to a fine meal. Thank you, Jerry!
(Jerry lives in Italy and makes light-filled art of captivating Lake Como.)
Artists are a special breed.
We need each other.
There is a synergy when we come together.
Always has been and always will be.
‘This is what a painting is, a notebook of feelings for that time where you were captured by what you saw. Notice I did not say that you captured X, Y, or Z – the beauty of the lake, for example. It’s the reverse: the beauty of the lake captures you’.
~ Jerry Fresia
Truly, we ARE captured.
The mystery of painting, the whole creative shebang.
I feel so much gratitude for the family of artists on the planet. If you are reading these words, then you must know—you are one of us—you belong!