Born yesterday

This was in truth from a few years back, on the first day of life for this little lamb.  Something about fragility, beginning places and their need to be treated tenderly makes us stronger in their presence, naturally protective. I wonder why it is hard to carry that kindness to new ideas, new methods, new work.

Every time I step into a new medium or play with a style that is a little bit of something different, that feeling of being a beginner emerges with a blend of excited anticipation and awkward impatience.  For painters, workshops are an amazing opportunity to learn from someone elses path, a short cut to their steps down the road and many people learn well in that environment.

I have discovered that I am someone who learns through watching and listening and then doing in a private setting! Studio visits and demos work best for me. Something of a self-conscious nature blocks me from being a full participant in the workshop setting, but I gather the pieces of information and bring them home to play.

It is not just in the learning forum, but also in the early stages of ideas and plans unfolding I am learning their best place to develop, is in the dark room. When they are a bit stronger, that is the time to introduce them to the outside.

I am thinking about the old expression, ‘I wasn’t born yesterday’ used to brush off attempts at being made the fool but wouldn’t it be great to approach the world with that sense of trust and curiosity? Maybe what we need is the safe place where a something starting will be treated with encouragement. A space to let our legs firm up and carry us to the next place. Yesterday in casual conversation with the curator of our local gallery, I slipped in the question, do you know the size of our large wall? The measurements with the question why? what are you thinking of came as the answer. Nothing yet, just checking and we both smiled and left it there.

As a late life entry to the practice of  sharing work publicly, I often think of myself as a new painter in an old lady.  Sometimes I am finding that feeling of born yesterday, and I have to say, it is a good one.

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