I took a sports psychology course a while back. We talked extensively about the state of being, well known to sports enthusiasts known as FLOW. It is that wonderful state of being in which you lose all self-consciousness and become what you are doing. You lose yourself in the activity. Everyone wants to get into flow. So what’s a good way to get into flow?
Since I used to enjoy art classes quite a bit in school, but haven’t done art regularly since then, I decided to join a couple art classes to see if I’d enjoy it if I picked up a paint brush again.
I heard the Art Gallery Of Alberta had a drop in art class, so I figured I go to that one, as well as my local community league was offering an art class over the course of several weeks.
Off I headed to class number one at the Gallery. From what I remembered of art in school, I enjoyed drawing or painting pretty things: landscapes, animals, flowers. As long as it was good to look at I enjoyed doing it. So to my dismay, I arrived in the first class, and we were to draw… scenes of oil. What the heck? I’m a borderline environmentalist, and they want me to paint the Oil Sands!? Or the concrete of the city… the one and only thing I did not enjoy on my travels. Oh boy. I couldn’t do it. So I went through the National Geographic magazines and found nature scenes and painted them. I couldn’t compromise no matter how great the textures of the concrete were. Anyways, I made it through my first class rather uninspired.
On to class number two, at the Community League in Edmonton, and MAGIC happened. We did painting with water colors and acrylic. Three paintings in total and although the acrylic was a little awkward at first, once I had finished it off I could feel myself relaxing, all the brain clutter fading into the background and I was starting to get engrossed in the project. I was getting into a state of flow. Perhaps art is a good way to get into flow! We did a water color painting which I had red, yellow and orange that looked like the Aurora Borealis (I know, not Aurora colors) over which I drew Chinese Symbols in black felt (I drew the symbols for heaven) over top and it was amazing. I was back in the game, in a state of flow and it was sooo fun. I haven’t gotten into a painting and drawing that much in a very long time. I lost track of time, and became completely engrossed in the careful perfection of this painting. Everyone was having a good time, no one cared how good their painting was. At the end of class we put all our work up in a line at the end of the room and everyone admired the great work of everyone else.
Next class we’re supposed to bring a canvas and picture of something we want to paint and we’re going to take three classes and make a big acrylic painting. Although I’ve traditionally painted mountains and landscapes, I think this time I’ll choose a picture of a horse. I love dapple greys. Here’s the picture I think I may attempt, its Beezie Madden and Judgment (my favorites). Can’t wait till my next class!!