Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lilies and Mint, and 'The Talent Code'

It's truly summer today. Did a little sketching this morning in my backyard. I really enjoy brush pen and have several filled with a couple different colored inks. I love red and warm colored line work. It adds zing. In the first sketch I used Noodler's Cayenne ink which is a lovely bright red. It's water soluble so bleeds when I add watercolor. Frustrating to control. In the second drawing I used a waterproof ink with the idea of seeing the difference of more control and maybe improving on the first drawing. Ha! I like it less! I think the looseness and lack of control along with the mistakes makes for a more interesting drawing, as frustrating as it was while drawing it. I was wrapping myelin. Which brings me to this...

Been reading 'The Talent Code' by Daniel Coyle. It's a fascinating read and quite helpful. It gives me some real tools to grasp in my attempts to improve my skills. His study is a confirmation of my beliefs. It's always been my mantra that there's no such thing as talent. I've noticed that over the years in teaching, seeing students grow leaps and bounds, achieve great skills and make amazing art. It's all hard work. Doing it over and over and over with goals in mind. Practicing beyond one's ability, reaching and failing and reaching... and failing, until one finally achieves the desired skill. Daniel Coyle calls it 'deep practice.' It's all about myelin wrapping around neurons and other factors that ignite the desire to attain skills. I highly recommend the book. Read it, practice and grow some myelin!







4 comments:

  1. Both paintings are beautiful in different ways. Could you explain your technique some time? I'm so intrigued by watercolor, and so fearful of it too. The book sounds interesting! I'll definitely put it on my list!

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  2. Thanks Katherine! I'd be happy to describe the process. I'll do a write-up, or video with captions. It's a fairly simple process.

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  3. Kris, I love your narrative with your beautiful paintings. Good to think about the view of hard work and myelin wrap to replace the "natural talent" idea. So much more hopeful. Having been a teacher myself, I know that there's an element beyond hard work, it has to do with focus and paying attention. I love your facebook page. Hope to run into you one of these days. Are you going to do a class this fall? Wendy

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  4. Hi Wendy! Come join us for sketching Wednesday, tomorrow. It'd be great to see you. And thanks so much for your comments and support. I appreciate your take on talent from a teachers perspective. I agree, focus is important. Drive too. It'd be nice to discuss it with you... over wine! or a sketchbook. Yes, classes are scheduled for November and January, and beyond. Both drawing fundamentals and watercolors. Hope to see you soon!

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