...serenity in motion

Nurturing your drive through friends old and new.

A very good friend of mine contacted me almost a year ago and said, "We are having a Lorenzo Chavez workshop here at the Valley Art Center and you need to come.  He is amazing and I know you will learn a oodles."  This wasn't about how far she thought I needed to go with my skill set, it was about building on what I had and I knew that is what she meant.  She has always believed in me and has known me since I was a small girl.  Judy Fairley is an amazing wildlife artist of enormous talent and a generous spirit and I am blessed to have her as a mentor.  She has loaned me her prisitine Terry Ludwig pastels that she hadn't even sullied yet and guided me through all sorts of challenging waters.  To have her tap me on the shoulder for this was a huge gift and the fact she was willing to put me up during the workshop was amazing.

We are 15 students in front of this master and he moves from easel to easel, giving guidance on concepts that should be the backbone of our ability.  Art is a strange mistress, we start drawing at a young age on scraps of paper, our parents bills laying around on the kitchen table, napkins and gum wrappers.  As we work to put into 2 dimentions what is in the mists of our mind, we don't consider the basics because no one is there to tell the child about line, movement, balance and all of the other concepts that Lorenzon is working to imprint on our older, stiffer brains.  The encouragement is real, and we are all helping each other play with our mediums.

As much as we are learning from him, it is each other that we are gaining the most momentum from.  Our joy of our mediums, love of color, imagery and frustrations that we are all feeling with our fight with the concepts; brings us all together.  The creative energy is a physical manifestation that we can all feed our spirits on, the fact that we are encouraging each other is a bonus. Can you imagine 16 people standing behind you cheering you on?  It is like a wave that you ride to a welcoming shore of achievement.  It isn't about the finished project; many of us won't finish the painting in class.  We will all take these started masterpieces home and many will gather dust never to be completed.  The importance comes from seeing our selves from the perspective of others.  They highlight the strengths we didn't realize we possessed, and help us reach new talents we didn't know were within our grasp.

With any luck, I will have 3 good starts and new skills to work with.  I hope it doesn't change the way my art looks but if it does, I know it will be to my benefit.  My advice to you, take a class.  Belly dancing, finger weaving, sports, music; get out there and learn new things.  Be a cheering squad for others as they cheer for you.  We all need encouragement, classes like this feed our spirit and our soul.  Oh, I really want to thank Lorenzo Chavez for being such a good instructor, I hope I do you and Judy proud.