No self judgement, just pure absorption; the joy of colour and the feel of the crayon or felt pen or brush on the paper; the power of creating a world all your own. It’s important to get back in touch with that experience, to take a playful approach to learning art.
As children we can work intuitively, as adults we can layer on top of that what we can learn about how art works: line, form, composition, colour, value, mark-making, surface… Something I call informed intuition. Working in this way gives us the opportunity to experiment with and really get to know our materials before we head into the nuts and bolts of art-making. We can relax, consult our intuitive knowledge and learn to trust it. Ideally this happens all along the way, making the painting: you make a change, a mark, a brush stroke, add a colour or a value, then you pause and consider the next step.
In fact-- the process for me is a constant interchange between intuition and more directive, intentional decisions. Making art is usually solitary and sometimes lonely. I have found a lively community in my students and I try to nurture a sense of “place” for them in my courses. As a self-taught artist who has been painting for over thirty years, I can relate to both the dream of making the paintings we see in our minds, and the frustrations of mastering the tools, techniques, and mindset to achieving them.