When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college – that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, “You mean they forget?” – Howard Ikemoto
I just spent a wonderful weekend with friends, who looked around our house and commented on the art that Linda and I create. Our home usually evokes comments such as, “I wish I was artistic” or “I can’t even draw a stick figure.”
When friends say these things, I always feel the need to remind them that being an artist is mostly about not being intimidated by the process. I came to a point in my life where my current life was not making me happy, so I tried very hard to remember what made me happy in the past. I knew I loved to sing in college, so I joined a local choir and found my voice again. Then I went even further into my past and remembered with great clarity the great dane dog I drew with my “John Nagy Art Kit”. I was in 4th or 5th grade, and I was so very proud of that picture. I wanted to find out if I could have that wonderful feeling again.
Fortunately, Linda and I lived close to Philadelphia, which has so many resources for budding artists. I signed up for all the free beginning classes at Philadelphia’s Fleischer Institute http://www.fleisher.org/ – a community based art school with amazingly talented faculty from all the local art colleges. This was not your local adult school art class, but functioned as a true art school, and even helped students develop portfolios so they could continue on to other more formal education. I took classes in the evening and weekends in jewelry making at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, and attended anatomy demonstrations with Al Yury and watched Nelson Shanks paint a portrait at Studio Incamminati. http://www.studioincamminati.org
They did not teach me to draw, they taught me how to learn to draw. And while I still cannot decide whether to be serious. or silly. I enjoy every day spent in my studio. If you don’t live close to a city like Philly, there is always the library or local book store, and free or low cost online art classes. http://www.free-online-art-classes.com/ or http://www.free-online-art-classes.com/ . Don’t stop playing.