Artistic Talent-Debatable

Deborah Babin

I had a profound conversation recently with someone who expressed a deep life long yearning to BE an ARTIST. This person was convinced she would never attain a level of artistic confidence because she had defined herself as having NO artistic talent or skills.

Without hesitation,my immediate response was: Being an Artist is NOT about

This bold statement flew out of my mouth and hung in the stillness.

This prompted a search on this topic today. I found this article which I am totally aligned with.

Please leave a comment about this debatable topic. What is your take?


PERSONAL REFLECTION

When I ask myself: Do I have artistic talent?

Answer: What I have is: Visual awareness

I learn through visual experiences.

It feels natural to express myself visually, thus art forms are my language. Consequently, utilizing my language builds my skills and enriches the quality of my art and production. When I make art I am proud of, it all makes sense. When I make art that is not up to PAR I have learned that this art experience is just as important, if not more so. As, I will learn and realize the depth of the challenge and strengthen my determination OR I may choose take a side step and evolve.

CLICK ON AN IMAGE TO SEE A DETAIL VIEW

Drawing 1 Ink drawing, watercolor, below PAR

Drawing 2 Ink drawing, watercolor, on PAR

These two examples are rated below PAR an above PAR by myself. The assessment is based on the effectiveness of the shading with fine ink marks.

Pen is unforgiving. No erasing!

Drawing 1

I consider this drawing as under PAR because: 1. The eyes are not positioned properly. The left eye is too close to the nose. 2. The shading under the nose is too dense and sort of looks like a mustache.

Is this a failure? No. I enjoyed drawing it. I remember where I was and how good the travel experience was. What will become of this drawing? It is now an example here and I can always paint over it.

Drawing 2

I consider this drawing (as compared to the previous drawing) to be on PAR. The results are overall pleasingly balanced. The shading has various tones, which effectively describe the contours of the face. The details of the hat and blouse add nice contrast.


I have been told that my verbal descriptions are vivid; I like knowing that. Being able to describe aspects of (art) various things is another way to connect and paint a verbal picture.

Talent is a vague concept. We all have strengths. It depends on the opportunities we have in our lifetime or make happen that give us the time and access to sources where we can develop those strengths. And, the SOURCES…well, the quality of the sources is vital. In addition, timing. WHEN we have this opportunity and with whom. We may encounter a prime opportunity but not at the optimal time in our life.

The timing within our journey is not within our control; unscheduled stops and starts.

Control: Only we can set the goals and then, set out to achieve them. Many times, life gets in the way. But, that is the nature of the uncharted path….it meanders.

Can you relate to this?


The people we meet along our journey are components. Whether they are validating, enriching and positive for our growth. They may be (and many times are) detractors. Depending on where we are on our journey this encounter can be devastating and derailing.

My favorite line:

The JOURNEY IS THE DESTINY

We are destined to seek. Some of us pursue consistently, others, off and on, and some give up too soon. Some people get side tracked. And, unfortunately, some succumb to the pressure of competition…and end up questioning (doubt) their abilities (talent). They might set the bar too high, with unrealistic expectations; self defeating.

I say: There is ALWAYS time to make an attempt to follow your dream. If your dream is to be an artist….THEN BEGIN. So the question is WHEN?

If you are serious and make a sincere effort all will work out. Remember the movie THE FIELD OF DREAMS? Build it and they will come.

What is the worst that can happen?


Are you willing to take a step forward now? Make a plan to BEGIN.

Make a commitment to yourself:

Suggestions:

Commit to 1 hour 1 day per week

Commit to any day, any number of days.

Find a spot that is serene and special pleasantly tucked away from distractions without a clock.

Use:

  • A clip board or firm surface that is easy to hold on your lap or table
  • A piece of plain white paper any size (several pieces is best) or a tablet
  • A regular lead pencil
  • Make marks
  • Observe…

Write the date on each page, maybe include the location. Make notes that about what you are thinking, seeing, feeling, realizing.

Don’t expect anything….just observe.

MARKS-Are ANY type of stoke, line, scribble, etc. that leaves a deposit of lead on the paper.

Approach: fill an entire sheet of paper with one mark making tool

  1. Make a random grid and fill the spaces, no ruler.
  2. Randomly fill the page without concern of the space.
  3. Start in various spots not just the center.
  4. Extend the marks out and over the outer edges of the paper.
  5. Experiment with various mark making tools.

MAKE MARKS UNTIL YOU FEEL LIKE STOPPING AND SIT BACK AND OBSERVE. YO

You are communicating in YOUR (language) of marks.

EXAMPLES OF VARIOUS TYPES OF MARKS

Options:

Switch mediums:

  • a color pencil
  • a watercolor pencil
  • charcoal
  • pen/ink

Fill page after page. Enjoy this PRIVATE EXPLORATION. Your personal diary of marks.

NOTE: THIS IS AN EXCELLENT METHOD TO DO WHILE PASSING TIME LIKE IN A WAITING ROOM, ON A FERRY or BUS RIDE, ANY TIME WHERE YOU WOULD HAVE TIME TO YOURSELF. YOU MAY GET INTERRUPTED; STOP AND RESUME AT ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY.  REALIZE THAT YOU MAY LIKE CERTAIN PARTS OF THE PAGE MORE THAN OTHERS. THIS IS OK. I LIKE TO TEAR THE PAGE INTO SECTIONS. AVOID ERASING! TRY TO GO WITH THE MARKS. SEE WHERE THEY TAKE YOU. 

Keep your tools, paper and drawing surface in a bag, carrying it with you where ever you go.

Art Supply Store Nice, France

When I travel I prepare a bag with various tools. I clip pictures of subjects from magazines for inspiration. I might buy a new tablet or better yet, I love to find an art store (say in Europe) to explore new tools that I aren’t available at home. I have a small back pack that is perfect for this purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspirational Design, Rothschild Museum, VilleFranche, France

 

 

My established INTENT: to be prepared to record my experiences with drawing is in my conscious mind. My visual “feelers” are on alert. I am more likely to see more than I would otherwise.

Photos as inspiration reference:

This photo was taken at the Rothschild Museum in the lobby of the mansion. The vaulted ceiling was decorated with meticulously hand drawn lines.

 

 

Stones, Antibes, Frances, inspiration

This photo was taken on the grounds of the Picasso Museum in Antibes, France. I consider this inspiration.

 


REVEAL

Optional!!

Reveal (share) your experience with someone ONLY if you are compelled. Listen to the reactions, comments. Realize how others SEE and respond to your MARKS. Take away what you want, dispose of the remaining. Some of the reactions may surprise (delight) you and some may not.

More about marks: As you make mark after mark (accumulation) you MAY notice a cluster (pattern) that resembles something realistic or interesting. How you interpret, respond to your marks is particularly notable. Don’t ignore this observation…instead…go with it!

Our Marks may communicate something completely different to another person. This is natural and to be embraced.

If you want to share your pages here PLEASE feel free to do so! If you want input….let me know.


 

MAKING ART IS ULTIMATE DISPLAY OF VULNERABILITY

When we present our art (mark making), we open ourselves to the world (universe); we are at our most vulnerable.

Vulnerability is when we are the MOST OPEN possible; no guard walls for protection, boundary or conditions.  We are bold enough (confident) to take the stand to be viewed (judged) to the core of our NAKED being.

Did I know this when I began to make art? NO!

Being an artist is WHO I am; I am hard wired to make art. Making art makes me happy. It feels natural and healthy.

I do not think about being judged. It is only natural to “hope” to measure up. But, who is doing the measuring? And, in any given situation (juried competition) who are you being compared to?

Listen to Brene Brown, TED talk topic: Vulnerability

The bottom line:

JUST MAKE YOUR ART AND OBSERVE

 

 

 

 

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