Thursday, September 10, 2015

Wish I Had Your Talent

My hands are no longer young but they are skilled.
How many times have we heard the line "Wish I had your talent"? The comment is usually made as a affirmation of something nice we have created or a gesture of recognition. I usually just say thank you and go on with my work. But sometimes I wonder if they had any idea the amount of time, devotion, sacrifice... and work that has gone into learning my craft would they still consider it wonderful? 
Watercolors and I go back many years. I was 9 years old.
Talent-Gift or Skill? If I have a talent or gift it is my desire. My desire to create, learn, to push past those points of frustration when I thought I couldn't do it. It's all learning, every step of the way (especially the flops). Each day I push forward, struggle, and challenge myself to learn and grow. The work doesn't need to be brilliant...I just need to start. So maybe you weren't born with a gift or talent (neither was I) but you can learn this skill...trust me!

Happy Painting!
Brenda

21 comments:

  1. Thanks for your insightful and spot-on words. I have found that stalling just doesn't cut it - it doesn't make any difference what you paint or your choice of paper or medium. I just have to take a breath and plunge in! Pick up a brush, scoop up some color, and 2 or 3 hours later, magically, a new painting has appeared! I think the people at Nike got it right; just do it!

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  2. Agreed! I tell my students frequently - none of us sprang from the womb holding a paintbrush! We all started with the same clumsy first strokes and it is time and practice that hones skill.

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  3. I always thank people and then remind them they have "talents" I don't have.

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  4. This is so true - I was a high school art teacher for 40 years and am also a practicing artist. I paint every day - and at 77 I am still improving my skills. I have often felt like Angela - that people just think I was born being able to paint like I do today. Other professions have respect - people acknowlege that it take a lot of study and work to make gains - only in our profession are we treated this way.

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    1. Good point! The arts in general don't get recognized...musicians, dancers, actors...

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    2. I am an artist but have a previous academic/professional background in engineering. In my experience people say the same things to all highly specialized professionals. In engineering I heard "wow, I wish I had your math skills" or "Your job sounds really interesting but I just don't have the brain for math". Now people look over my shoulder as I'm illustrating and say "wow, I wish I had your drawing skills". It's much easier to blame some lacking math/creative gene than to admit that getting really good at ANYTHING requires lots of practice and stumbling.

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  5. Oh, Brenda, THANK YOU! I so agree. My main mediums have been cut paper and calligraphy but I'm a determined still-not-nearly-skilled-enough watercolor artist, too. I loved your Sketchbook Skool class and have watched it over and over. Would love to take a workshop from you in person sometime because like you, I believe my main talent is stubborn perseverance to learn and grow as an artist. If you do more workshops, please post them~ I'd be so happy to join your sometime.

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    1. Sounds like you are determined...great! Hope to see you in the future.

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  6. Wow! Thank you!!!! I'm not gifted....but I am DETERMINED!

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  7. When they say something like that, I reply: I am practicing this for many years!
    Just like you I think it's the desire to be creative, to produce something beautiful, that is the 'talent'. Someone who wants to, can learn to do it.

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  8. I have begun to tell people that in addition to the "thank you." I also point out that they can learn to draw, too. For some reason, most people understand that musicians practice scales and such, but they don't realize that artists do their equivalencies.

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  9. Along with thanks I usually tell them that it's more work than something innate ... and that if I can do it, most likely they can, too, if they're willing to put in the hours/months/years ...

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  10. Great words! Thank you Brenda for the confirmation that I am on the right track. I just need to keep doing it and I will reap the benefits of continued effort!

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  11. Thanks, Brenda, for the link to your blog. Ok, your skills have some from years of practice and determination. I am really glad to hear that as the ones that can do it immediately and don't know how they can, frustrates me to no end! I, for one, appreciate your level and especially your ability to teach it. That's an entirely different ballgame.

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  12. Hi i am from India.thank you for the lovely insight I feel practise hardwork determination is key. I am sure with thus a lot can be achieved.love your blog using your guidelines I create my little masterpiecesister must tell you it makes me feel like world's greatest artist & gives creative satisfaction inspite of all evident flaws. Thank u & stay blessed brenda

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    1. Farida, Thank you! Creativity feeds our spirit. Happy Sketching!

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  13. Hi i am from India.thank you for the lovely insight I feel practise hardwork determination is key. I am sure with thus a lot can be achieved.love your blog using your guidelines I create my little masterpiecesister must tell you it makes me feel like world's greatest artist & gives creative satisfaction inspite of all evident flaws. Thank u & stay blessed brenda

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