...serenity in motion

New Lessons in Old Rules

I have been involved with art since I was 6 years old.  That means I have been learning from amazing people since I was a little girl but just like someone who has been turning a wrench all their life, there is always room to go back to class.  I have a BA in Fine Art; which isn't the same as a BFA in Fine Art.  I didn't want to stick around long enough for that.  It isn't like I was going to use it in a workplace, so I wasn't concerned about it.  I was taught many fundamentals there, and at some point I stopped using them.  It wasn't just color theory, it was line and balance; value, contrast and shape. While some of it stuck, like all those sockets rolling around in the bins; I wasn't using all of them.  

One day, my mentor called me and told me "You just have to take this class! Lorenzo Chavez is coming to The Valley Art Center and you must be here for it!"  Ok, I though; I'll bite.  I'm committed to this artistic enterprise now, it is time to invest in my skill set for the creative tool box.  So I packed for the weekend and toddled on down to Lewsiton/Clarkston.  I have this vision of leading 5 or 6 students out into the open fields to do Plein Aire and this seemed an opportunity to move toward this goal.  

Let's not go into my dissapointment when I found us not in the open air, but in a classroom. In the end, the group was inviting, supportive and the lessons were valuable.  Lorenzo Chavez (his last name is portugese for keys for those who were curious), unlocked many things I had forgotten and showed me that I was already using some of the tools without thinking about it.  Sometimes, it isn't learning something new; more remembering what you were taught long ago.  Because I had learned all of these things 30 years ago, his lessons were clearer and helped me understand more of what I was doing wrong and also what I was doing correctly.

I will admit, I did write about his class last week but I really want to put imphasis on what this has done for me; I gained clearer focus.  Being an artist can be a mostly solitary endeavor.  You do your best but there aren't a lot of books that will teach you how to run an art business.  There are a ton of books on how to do art but unless you have someone there, the lessons get lost.  I am someone who learns more by example than by reading books.  In this way, Lorenzo has been invaluable to me.  I wonder what other classes will unlock in my recalcitrant brain.  No class you take is ever wasted, even if it turns out to be a review.  I am so excited to be in my studio right now, just to try out old things!