When asked how an artist finds her voice, writer Roxane Gay says it’s not something that you really find. “It’s something that’s in you and you allow to emerge,” she says. “Oftentimes people go looking here or looking there, instead of just recognizing that they already have the voice, and they just need to use it.”
Gay also says that it’s not worth waiting for confidence to begin. “If I was waiting for confidence to write,” she says, “I’d still be waiting.” Confidence, it seems, is the least deciding factor in whether or not we make art, for creative invention does not require certainty. For artists, “confidence” might be the simple assurance that what we have to say is of value. Without experience or confidence, we begin anyway. And so, what is our beginning based upon?
Alone in our room, without certainty, we must rely on our compulsion to tell the story, tapping our drive and curiosity to see the result of our efforts. In painting, this often looks like material inquiry — learning how to do something by doing it. Some artists can jump-start the process by observing similar stories told in the world, to add to, expand upon, mimic, reinvent or improve upon their own creative work. Other artists must cut a new path, because their like-stories have been submerged. The chance to bring the hidden out of the shadows is a valuable creative opportunity. “Human potential is the same for all,” wrote the Dalai Lama. “Your feeling, ‘I am of no value,’ is wrong, absolutely wrong. You are deceiving yourself.”
“I decided to accept as true my own thinking.” (Georgia O’Keeffe)
Esoterica: Roxane Gay was born in 1974 in Omaha, Nebraska to a family of Haitian decent. After surviving a sexual assault at age 12, she retreated to a world of reading and writing. Much of Gay’s work deals with the inquiry and exploration of her personal experiences. Her themes include adolescence, television, relationships, writing, American culture, gender, family, sexuality, race, shame and the body. Of confidence, Gay says, “It’s never going to come necessarily. But you have to write anyway.” “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
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“We read to find life, in all its possibilities.” (Roxane Gay)
“You can’t sit around and wait for somebody to say who you are. You need to write it and paint it and do it.” (Faith Ringgold)
Come and paint with me in Lucca, Italy, May 2019!!
My painting holiday workshops are all about the fun of painting in a supportive group environment and is suitable for all levels. Mostly, we’ll be painting en plein air (a nice quiet locale in which to play with our paints!) and enjoying the fresh air. I know Lucca like the back of my hand and will take you to some of my favourites spots!! Each day will start with a short theory session, with an emphasis on quick value sketching then a demonstration of the day’s painting subject out on location. We will also explore subject selection and strategies to tackle complex subjects. After a lunch break, I will let you loose to paint and then come and help each student in turn throughout the afternoon.
After a well-deserved siesta, we’ll meet up for aperitivi and on to dinner; Lucca’s favourite dining spots will be waiting for us with a special menu just for us!
Tuition, meals, luxury en suite B&B accommodation, on-ground transfers and excursions are all included!!
E1895 Euros per painter, no single supplement
For more information email Amanda