PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE

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“The human brain is an unstoppable piece of machinery that from birth to death whirrs out text and imagery at unfathomable rates of speed. Perhaps the Creative among us are not Truly Creative at all.

Those of us who are blessed with a thoughtful, interested audience may only possess  the ability to quickly spot and recognize a new idea, to focus on that idea and with brush or pen, to create an original expression of that idea.”

My first retail store was located in Scottsdale AZ,  a DYS picture frame shop. For the first few years this store was the only such business in North Scottsdale. It was a fun way to earn a few bucks.

There was an artist, a bit of a late bloomer, who often arrived as our doors opened,  paintings in hand, her painted canvasses from the art classes she was taking at Scottsdale Community College.

Her work was horrible. She couldn’t  draw a straight line with a yard stick.

At first she tried framing her own work but her uncooperative thumbs (ten as I recall) helped her to decide that a more professional craftsman would know the best solutions.

I and my team framed many of her works  over the years;  her work improved and we adapted to her enthusiastic, wolfish tenacity..

I gave her a biography one day, of Pablo Picasso. The first chapter described little Pablo, who, acting on his father’s advice, went to the garden, chose a flower and drew it.

He  drew that floral beauty dozens of times until his hand seemed to have a mind of its own. He had begun with the expectation of becoming a slave to perfection, learning instead that the appearance of the finished work depended upon purpose and he developed the practice of rendering several very different impressions of his subject.

Having been influenced by that same chapter during my own childhood I had successfully practiced the same technique and wondered if this might be of some help to our friend.   She gratefully emulated Picasso’s example on a daily basis and the quality of her work seemed to grow .

She told me one day that a major gallery in New York City wanted to manage her career; She was moving to The Big Apple;  within a few years I began to see her work turn up on the walls of homes gracing the pages of Architectural Digest and American Artist.

Like the lady I just described and like many artists, I was not born with the ability to draw or sing or play the piano. I arrived with curiosity. I was born with questions afloat in my head. My earliest infantile experiments were well under way as I rose for my first step and fell again to my knees.

Whenever I hear someone describe themselves as lacking creativity, I become instantly sad. I mourn because I recognize the pain that this kind of affirmation causes.

Daily descriptions of what we perceive as our limitations, render these ideas into nightmares and the nightmares into shame, blame and often violence.

I have a few standard quips for those who regularly repeat such ideas about themselves but being a part of my memorized repertoire these  “standard” retorts seem to lack credibility.

As for myself, it has been awhile since waking at 2:00 AM with the dream-words spilling from my lips, “Lee you dumb-shit-you did it again.”


Lee Broom

 

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