Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lessons from the One Day Wonder Workshop

 As I was preparing to leave for The Corner Studio to set up for my One Day Wonder Workshop, I was treated to a special message from the "This I Believe" segment of Bob Edwards Weekend. The speaker told the story of how, at an early age she was judged to have a poor singing voice.  So, she did not sing for many years until she was a mother with a child who had a lot of pain.  To comfort her child, the "bad singer" was called upon to spend many hours each day holding and singing to her daughter. Sometimes, after the child had dozed off to sleep, the mother would stop singing only to have the baby request more from her vocal goddess.  What a good message to receive right before facing a room full of intimidated, but hopeful artists!
    Just about everyone who had signed up for the workshop (where we were exploring painting with watercolor/pastel) professed to be wholly under qualified.  I had to assure them that all of us would be trying new things and learning.  It is funny how we believe we have to be perfect before trying something. How can that happen? All this worry and concern made me think about what I appreciate most in other artists.  It is always their distinct view of the world that engages and enchants me.  I don't believe I've ever bought a painting because it was flawlessly rendered.  It is always: "What an interesting way of seeing the world!"  It is the humanity that we fall in love with, not the perfection.
    We set to work.  Sure enough, each participant in the workshop had a different idea about how the world looks.  Even while some of them were using watercolor and/or pastel for the first time, their special voice came through.  It was very exciting! We had a room filled with uniquely beautiful creations.  Since everyone had selected their own images to paint, we were able to learn what was meaningful to them personally and how they would interpret this offering to the world.  And, as I had predicted, I learned as much as anyone and had a light shown on beauty I had not seen before.  It was very human and humane, these wonderful, experimental paintings.
   So keep it up!  Keep painting, singing and telling stories.  You never know when your particular beauty will be the needed balm to an aching world.

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