Can you remember the sensuous pleasures of colouring, painting and creating that you had as a child?
Do you remember losing all track of time while you tripped out on colour and paint, texture and imagination? Never doubting for a moment that what you were doing was just the greatest because you were so absorbed in the process?
I fell in love with oil paint when I was around ten years old. I fell in love with smell of it, with the feel of it and with the way it moved when I applied it to the canvas board that came with that complete kit that I had been given. And, to this day, I hold the image of that first painting that I did in my memory bank – of the dawn light spreading up behind the dark Usambara Mountains in Africa. This tells me something how powerful making art can be.
It was an emotional and spiritual experience. But it was also very much a sensuous, physical experience.
And it gives me great pleasure to share these experiences with others.
Until now, whenever I have been asked to teach people to paint I have shied away from it because I don’t have a formula or follow a set technique. My own work evolves organically, slowly and quite randomly really. But now I realise that this is what I can teach people – I can teach them to let go of expectations, to take some risks and to free their ‘grown-up’ personas from the responsibility of having to ‘get things right’. And, as much as anything, to enjoy the sensual pleasure of making art.
And in the process I can pass on what I have learnt in all my years as an artist – about brushes and paint and colour theory and mark making and composition.
So now I call my art workshops an Art Odyssey. They are voyages into the unknown. My students come with ideas of what they want to create – ideas that usually require far more art experience than they have. So, rather than trying to re-create something accurately, we use the inspiration piece as a springboard for a dive into completely unknown waters and start exploring all of the various elements of simply working with colour, paint and implement – whether that’s a brush, a pencil, a feather or a piece of charcoal.
I have evolved a series of steps to help people return from fear and trepidation to the confidence and joy they once experienced when they were young and played uninhibitedly with paint, colour and form. It is wonderful to watch their delight as they re-discover a lost innocence.
You can reach me by commenting on this Blog or connecting with me on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/oilpainteratlarge/ or Linkedin, https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-lynne-stadler-97446188/ or by email at [email protected]