Monday, 9 January 2017

Oh To Be An Artist.

The painting today is one of my early attempts at acrylic painting in the actual place. I am sure that I painted over it not long after  painting it.

I can remember those days so clearly. I was never happy with anything that I painted and almost gave up. I did stop painting for some time feeling that my desire to be able to call myself an artist was a dream that was never going to happen. 

Here I am a good few years on and painting once again. I still paint things that I then go and paint over because I am not at all happy with them. Or if they are pastels or watercolours I put them in the recycling bin. I have one or two friends who have some of my discards taken from the bin.

I was thinking of this just the other day. I have not painted this year yet and my head is buzzing with ideas and things that I have been asked to work on. 

This reminded me of the story of the Taoist teacher and a young man.

The teacher was sitting by the side of a river deep in thought when he was interrupted by a young man.

The young man said, "Master I wish to become your disciple."

The master thought for a moment and turned to him and said, "Why do you wish to be my disciple?"

The young man thought for a moment. " Because I want to be like you an artist."

The teacher jumped up , grabbed the young man by the scruff of the neck and dragged him to the river. He plunged his head under the water.

After holding him there for a bit, with the young man struggling to get free, the teacher pulled him out.  The young man coughed.

When he gathered himself together and sat down the teacher spoke to him in a quiet voice.

"Tell me, what did you want most of all when you were under the water?"

Without any thought the young man said, "Air."

"Very well," said the teacher.

"Go home and come back to me when you want to be an artist as much as you just wanted air. Then you can be my disciple."

Now before anybody points out to me that I would be arrested if I treated a student like that I am aware of it. 

But the meaning of the story is there for us all. We can be what we want to be if we want it hard enough.

What is it you really want?

Have a marvellous day.



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