Yes, YOU Can Paint! by Wilson Bickford

Hello and welcome to my space on the “SPLATTER” blogazine. Thanks for logging on!

Wilson Bickford and I am a professional artist and instructor from northern New York state. ( if you’re thinking “Albany”, keep going North. I’m only 30 miles from Canada. I’m at the polar opposite of the state from NYC. )

I am a self-taught artist and I have been conducting painting and drawing classes for 20 years now. There is no doubt that my “occupation” is unique by most standards, but it is also one of the most rewarding that I can imagine. “Turning people on” to painting is very fulfilling, to say the least.

Art, whether it’s painting, sculpture, music, theater, whatever is a “learned” skill, not something innate or born into you.

Through the years, it has become glaringly obvious to me that ANYONE can paint. All it takes is becoming familiar with some basic principles, techniques and approaches. Most folks have never been informed about color value, perspective and how to portray dimensional depth.

Pick up a typical “art book” and the novice will be confronted with terms like; grisaille, alla prima, imprimatura, impasto,………. and let’s not forget “fat over lean”. Usually, that will be enough to discourage most aspiring painters and send them off in search of a friendlier activity.

As a teacher, it’s my job/duty/privilege to take the mystery out of all this jargon and break everything down into “bite-size” chunks and show the student how to put these methods into actual practice.

Most of my students begin my classes with the notion that, “Well, I have no talent but I thought I’d come and give it a try because it might be kind of fun.” Translation? ” I’m dying to try this, but I’m afraid I might fail. But, I hope I can do it! Can you help me?”

I always point out that Da Vinci and Michelangelo weren’t “born with a brush in their hand”, either. They were apprenticed to the Masters of their day and they LEARNED it. And so can YOU!!

Does it take practice and study? YES! Does it take determination and perseverance? YES! Does it take a certain skill? NO, because I believe that can be acquired. Being a great baseball player is a learned skill. Being a great magician ( a’ la David Copperfield ) is a learned skill.

And so it is with art.

Let’s face it,…… you will become better and more proficient at something the more you do it.

I don’t care whether it’s golf, chess or deciphering your home computer.

We LEARN by DOING! And practice has always made perfect and it always will!

If you’re not afraid of a little sweat, devotion of your time and dedication to a goal, YOU can learn to paint. Paint because it makes you feel alive, paint because you’ve always wanted to, paint because your Grandma’s old box of art supplies is gathering dust in the closet! If you make a mistake, so what? Try again! You will learn more from your own mistakes than any other way.

(Remember I said I was self-taught? I learned by making lots of mistakes. Mistakes will be your best teacher, by far. )

JUST PAINT !!! I guarantee that your life will be richer for it!
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