November 13, 2005

Do you want to be an artist?

So I put my sign up on the road a few Friday’s ago. It says “Leya Evelyn Studio”. Standing on the road supervising the installation of the post, I met several neighbors. One with a beautiful seven year old golden retriever, another my neighbor who had recently moved in next door. But next door is so far away I hadn’t realized I had new neighbors there. That particular house has had four sets of residents since I moved in here nine years ago. For the first time in my life, I’m the one that that seems to be staying.

That particular house also seems to be one that is friendly to pets. The first people had a dog and a cat. The next family loved and cared for Katie when I was traveling (and had a couple of cats). The next couple had three dogs and we met in the lake as she was exercising them. This current family has a couple of dogs (I hear them barking and sometimes they come over to inspect my property) and at the time we met, she was walking their big fluffy cat on a leash, taking him to the car to go to the vet. So we didn’t have much time to talk. But she did say that she is an artist as well.

Everyone wants to be an artist. It IS a liberating experience, creating something from nothing. And it is hard work. I haven’t seen my neighbor since and I have no idea what kind of work she does. Recently I have again begun teaching my small group of adults (Buddhists), a painting class. Some of the people in the class have had a lot of experience, some none. Most of them have worked in related art fields, close to, but not, painting. Sometimes I don’t think I am a good teacher for beginners. It’s hard. I don’t remember beginning instruction. It feels like I never began. I just did it. After my intense and valuable year of art school, most of my “education” has been self-taught. If I want to learn something, I investigate. I have become good at critiquing work because I have to—because I teach and a teacher critiques. I am willing to learn. And there is a lot to learn, in regarding making art and also how to teach. And that is one of the (many) things I love about painting (and teaching).

Posted by leya at November 13, 2005 06:47 PM