Creative people have creative blocks from time to time. And I believe that all people, even the "non-creative" ones can still have creativity in their life in some form or other.
I think it's a genuine need to be creative, to be inspired during our working (and playing) lives. There are a loads of ways we can get inspired.
I found today, my own creative juices weren't flowing very much. I needed to find my own inspiration in order to be more productive in my day.
I found myself being reminded of Rodin's quotation " The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble and to live"
What would make me feel alive today?
The first thing for me was to get outside. Even on a wet September day there is so much to get excited about out there. The berries are coming out, the leaves are changing colour and I found a lovely rosebud...perhaps the last for this season.
The light has changed too. It's dusk at 7.15pm today, and will be dark by about 8pm. That might be a bit depressing, as we all love our long summer days. But the change itself is so very interesting. And interesting is inspiring!
In any event being outside, if only for a short time is good for us, it just is! And even without strong sunshine it helps us embed our circadian rhythms, and thus enable us to have better, restful sleep.
If it's really tipping down outside, and there are days when even the most outdoorsy, might resist venturing out, there's inspiration to be found elsewhere.
As a rule I try to avoid women's magazines and they tend not be inspirational, and make me feel rubbish! But I've found a lovely one recently. Its called Daphne's Diary and it's a little gem (I'm not affiliated with this magazine, this is genuinely my opinion). It has lots of little things in there about art, craft, interiors, gardens and workshops. It is so beautifully designed that each page can give you inspiration. I found myself reading an interesting article on fans. Fans. I didn't think I'd do that today!
You can also turn to other people for creative inspiration and support. I love delivering my classes teaching people how to Oil paint, http://www.louiselutonart.com/classes and there are so many opportunities to learn something new or develop your skills. In my locality Salisbury arts centre is the go-to place for creative classes, everything from feltmaking to filmmaking! http://www.salisburyartscentre.co.uk/whats-on/workshop-courses.aspx
When I came back into the studio from my little sojourn outside I played about with some ink and then did a line drawing over the top of it. It's really the painters equivalent of a doodle, but the point is it got me going. Made me feel alive. Helped me get on with my creative day.
Sometimes the very best way to get creative is to just get on with it! Whatever your creative release might be: drawing, painting, writing, sewing, making, baking....sometimes you just need to make a start without worrying about the finish.
For years and years I've taught art to students under the age of 19 at GCSE and A level. And I've delivered lessons to improve their skills and develop their creativity.
So now that I'm a full time artist, I've been reflecting on the very best examples of teaching over the years and working out how to deliver meaningful, enjoyable, useful art classes to adults wanting to learn to paint.
One of my favourite classes (my favourite to teach and the students' favourite to learn) was traditional oil painting.
A bit of research told me that apparently there are too few art teachers teaching technique.
That might sound like a scientific approach, but perhaps courses on kickstarting your creativity, aren't what some people want. One gentleman, after going to an art class elsewhere, told my husband at work " I don't want someone to teach me how to be more creative, I want them to teach me how to paint properly".
So with this in mind I'm launching new art classes in oil painting - based on my old A level workshops.
During A level teaching we devoted one lesson a week entirely to learning new techniques in oil. It ended up being nicknamed the "technical bake" lesson, as it was on the same day as the Great British Bake off!
So each week, their portraits developed, along with their understanding, each time with me demonstrating the content required in the "technical bake", and them working on it.
It was intensive but incredibly enjoyable.
Something that became clear about teaching in this way, was the students' ability to apply the techniques they learned to other paintings later in the course.
They were intimidated by oils at first. That faded in time.
Oils are difficult and intimidating to get to grips with, there are a myriad of mediums and solvents, the paints themselves come in a dizzying array of quality, price, colour. Should you work on board or canvas, how fine should the canvas be? What does hue mean on the tube? Is that good or bad?
And once you've walked out of the art shop a couple of hundred pounds poorer, then what happens? Where to you start? You heard about the rule "thick over thin", but that's not really enough to go on!
Is it really possible to de-mystify the dark arts of oil, in just a few lessons?
Yes. Yes it is. I can give my students the benefit of my experience. I can help them use the techniques of the old masters with the joy of our knowledge of chemicals and solvents to help them create better paintings with developed skill.
I want to share the secrets of painting in a "grisaille"- the art of creating form through monochrome techniques. It can revolutionise the way you use oil. Then you have the foundation to add colour over the grisaille in glazes and thin layers. This creates depth in your paintings.
So are you ready to learn to paint?
I love teaching, I can help you improve your oil painting, I have a lovely studio for you to paint in, and I make a cracking cup of coffee. What more could you ask for?
My classes start on Wednesday15th October.
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