I’ve recently done quite a lot of reading, and articles were ranging from stress, life coaching, fitness, diets, moms and kids, teens’ problems, depression, anxiety to universe, loneliness, obsession, complaints and visual art. Well, the common thing most often was: everything is pretty much wrong and we should really work on some kind of improvement. Poets were less unsatisfied with life since they found something inspiring in being not that well off.
We are used to believe that humans are steadily progressing and we become better, smarter, more intelligent, stronger and healthier with every new generation. However, there has been only a huge technical progress, and only mobile devices and computers have become noticeably smarter and more advanced, but humans are meanwhile regressing. At a fast rate. Our health is terrible, and many earlier unknown diseases are genetically inherited, our mind gets much less used since there is always an answer on the Internet, and our human skills and the ability to interact and build personal relationships is totally neglected. Taking into account the abnormal consumption of toxic substances and chemicals, scientists have figured out we would last for just 30 more generations. That would be the moment when humans lose their reproductive ability because of genetic errors which the body will not be able to fix. Well, they might just learn to re-write the DNA and correct the broken sequences by that time.
Thankfully and despite the ignorance which is very characteristic for consumers society, the hand-made art is still surviving. One might think it is so silly to try to draw and paint for real when it is possible to do everything digitally. It sure is, and there are always new apps, but the gain and the goal is actually to maintain our humanity, and that won’t be achieved using apps. This might sound way overdone, but when we meet kids who rarely get in touch with nature, who have seen it mostly on the TV or computer, when we hear adults who complain about stresses and loneliness and how dysfunctional their lives have become, I am wondering why don’t they do anything to change this?
At the studio, we are about small droplets which build a huge waterfall and tiny leaves which make up a forest. I mean, one does not necessarily have to choose art as a career, there will be so many other benefits along the road. The ability to experience and create the beauty is just one of them.
I was just looking at grape leaves on vine in my backyard. What perfection, what grace in every angle, in every shape! The weather is fantastic at the moment, so the magic light of late afternoon was playing in these leaves and creating amazing patterns and soft value transitions. So simple, yet absolutely stunning! Nature does not love emptiness: we can fill ourselves and our time either with something useful, or with waste. We have actually always some choice, and we have plenty of choices when it comes to our leisure. Small changes lead to big results, although they still take efforts. I know, it’s much easier to sit back and stare at the TV screen. I do that, too when I am feeling totally exhausted and cannot even move, but that’s limited to just some 20 minutes here and there.
I had the largest number of workshops ever this August: 8 in total. I did not manage to take pictures of all works because there were just too many, but I still got a lot of watercolor sketching pics. Although, art teaching can be very tiring, I sometimes feel like re-energized after a long workshop, and this happens due to the great energy which is circulating in the studio. I wrote a mom who expressed her satisfaction for daughter’s successfully created art: the hugest and the most meaningful reward for a teacher is the student who has acquired new skills and new passion.
I must say things like poetry, writing, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, drawing or painting cannot be even taught. A teacher is only providing with tools, methods, techniques and explanations about such processes, but the doing and learning is actually up to the student. As a teacher, I can show, demonstrate, advise, recommend, comment and draw attention to some technique or issue, but the student will have to apply these recommendations and tips on his or her own. The result or lack of it greatly depends on that person who is learning.
I will discuss in more detail next time why some great intentions lead to nothing and why there will always be somebody who drops out.