Passing It On

Nov. 2, 2011

While visiting a daughter and her family recently I discovered that there is another artist in the family, her almost 14-year-old son.  He tells me he has never had an art class but has been interested in art for a year or so.  He’s been trying to draw on his own and wanted some tips.  That was my Wow! moment.  A teenager actually thinks I might know something he would like to know.  And this was in spite of the fact that he has seen many of my landscape paintings, while his own art interest is people.

There is a common ground.  We both want to do art that reflects what we actually see.  So as I looked at his drawing of a hand, I talked to him about really seeing that hand, such as that there is an imaginary straight line down from the index finger to the wrist, the negative space that forms a triangle between the thumb and the index finger, etc.  He listened attentively.

One day we were in Hobby Lobby so his sister could buy something she needed for her Haloween costume.  Our new artist was not familiar with this store in which I spend so much money.  I think beginning artists need to learn the technical stuff first so I showed him the wide array of art how two books: How to Paint in Watercolor, How to Draw Animals, How to Draw People, How to Draw Hands and Feet, the titles went on and on.  That was his Wow! moment.  His face had a look of amazement.  He hadn’t known so much help for the beginning artist existed.

His enthusiasm brought back memories of my own discovery of art, although I was a college student at the time I had that can’t wait to get started feeling just looking at the supplies for my first art class since elementary school.  This young man and I will get together again during the holidays and we’ll have a lot to talk about.

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