She had never had any art training or experience at all when she began studying with me. The first few months we work on drawing skills and then we start working with paint.
This lady had mixed her colors in class and then ran out of time to paint so she decided to try it on her own at home. When she brought it back the next week all four leaves looked like the two on the left. She was very dissatisfied and wondered if she should just throw it away and start over. I assured her that it was totally salvageable. In fact, what she had done would serve as a base that we would build upon.
We got out the picture she was working from, and I coached her to study every little spot carefully and then use her paint to slightly exaggerate what she saw. By constantly asking herself questions about what she saw she was able to uncover the beauty of the leaves and get a hint about how to capture it with paint. She asked questions like, “Is this area lighter than that area? Where does it start getting darker? Is it cooler or warmer next to the vein and stem? Is this part brighter or duller than that part?” Slowly the leaves began to come alive. In the end she was amazed with the transformation of the two leaves on the right and so very pleased.
In this case, while we learned to really SEE the leaves, we are also reminded of the importance of hard work, persistence, and perseverance. The scriptures emphasize these very qualities and remind us that we are not to let Satan fill us with hopeless lies that cause us to give up on ourselves and want to discard whatever we don’t think is perfect. We are to be sober minded and humbly committed to our tasks. I always chuckle when my pastor reminds us that there is, afterall, a lot of “-umph” in “tri-umph.”
By studying art not only do we learn about the world around us but about the one inside of us as well.