Let me show you my best painting secret!
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Have you tried to learn another language? This seems to be a popular goal these days especially thanks to amazing internet resources that make learning a language easier. Not easy though. My wife has been studying French using Duolingo online. This is an excellent website that makes learning a language a compelling challenge. She is hooked and she is making good progress.
Despite my wife's excellent progress she would still struggle to hold a conversation in French right now. Writing a good poem in French would be impossible at this point. One day maybe, but with only the basics of the language it would be asking too much.
Take Shakespeare's tremendous talent for wordplay and inventive vocabulary for instance. His contribution to English is astonishing. His accomplishments would have been impossible without a confident grasp of the English language combined with his love for words. He placed words together in ways that others could not even imagine.
But could Shakespeare complete a decent painting? I am not aware of him ever trying, but it seems unlikely or else there may have been a record of this. Despite his talent for English and poetry it is doubtful that he could paint. This is due to the great Bard knowing very little about the language of painting.
This One Thing Changes Everything
To reach the next level and master writing you need to really learn the language. Passion will take you only so far. The same applies to painting. Learn the language of painting and you will see your painting ability leap ahead. Sadly very few art teachers venture into this territory. Perhaps it is perceived as too boring? Too complicated? Or maybe they did not learn the language of painting either?
If you try learning a language you will appreciate that practice is essential. Duolingo is great at this. They make you practice everyday or your progress stalls. The same applies to painting. You need to practice the language of painting often to make quick progress. But once you have the basics in place it does become a natural part of you. Just like talking your home language.
Is that exciting? Once this truth revealed itself to me I was motivated to keep learning and applying the lessons. Everything else fell into place in a natural progression. Now as I keep on learning I also have the privilege of teaching other artists.
Of course it all depends on what you want to achieve. Not everyone wants to write poetry or novels. Simply holding a nice conversation is enough. Not everyone wants to paint professionally, but creating art that expresses one's feelings is a wonderful thing.
The idea that I would like to leave you with is that you do have the talent to create beautiful paintings. All that you need is to learn the language of painting and practice. This will ensure that you develop your own style. Plus you will be able to paint anything you want. The language remains the same.
Interested in exploring this exciting idea?