Continuing Education

It’s easy for me to say that I’ve been surrounded by professionals my whole life. My father is an attorney and I work for an accounting firm. They all do continuing education. I was also one of the kids that enjoyed school. So, maybe I have a biased opinion, but I do love learning. Especially when it’s something I like to do. I made a promise to myself, and I think I’ve said it here before, to take continuing education classes for my artistic endeavors. I don’t think the need to continue learning is just limited to “professionals.” In fact, this last week I’ve learning just how far a good class can take a person. I airbrushed for the first time in a long while to do a commissioned painting for a client in North Ogden. Today, I compared this new piece to one I did last year, before I took my class with Jerry Yarnell. The techniques I learned from the class about blending colors I’d applied to my new painting and it was so obvious that I now knew more about blending colors with an airbrush then I had before I’d taken the “normal brush” painting class. Also, my trees had improved from that class too. No matter how much you already know, you can always learn something.

Sometimes classes are good for areas where you know you’re weak too. I admit that my blog has been lacking. I always feel at a loss for what to say. Of course, if you’ve followed my blog so far, you know that the writing aspect of my life has been difficult at best for the last few years and the act of WRITING the blog was a struggle to say the least. But since I’ve started doing the Morning Pages suggested in Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, my writing has opened back up. Still, I felt I needed some additional help. So, I signed up for the Blog Triage class by Alyson Stanfield and Cynthia Morris. So, not only am I here to hopefully inspire you to continue learning about something you enjoy or feel you need to know about, but I’m here to work on my first assignment. In the end, I hope to overhaul my blog and make it into something inspiring and interesting.

Who would I like to read my blog? I’m looking for people who want to be inspired, who feel that there’s something more out there in this world, who want to reach within themselves to find their higher potential. Is that strange coming from an artist? I don’t think so. When I was doing the show in North Ogden, because it’s not a juried show I was allowed to take whatever I wanted. I came bearing my paintings, photography, and graphic novels. When people would come in my booth, they’d always ask, “Are you the artist? Paintings? Photography?” I’d smile and reply, “Yes, I did all the paintings, photography, and graphic novels.” Almost all of them gave me an overwhelmed look and said, “Bet that keeps you busy. I wish I had a talent like this.” None of them would believe me when I’d answer, “You do. Maybe not for this, but you have a talent for something.” I am a single mother, raising two boys on my own, I work a full-time job, and I still have time to do art in all the forms I’ve been blessed to have be given. Am I unique in any way? No! I merely want to reach my highest potential. The people who are going to understand my art are also people who feel that longing of the collective mind deep in their souls and want to seek it out. If they want to seek it out, they are going to want to stretch themselves and see what more they could become. I want to be the one leading that crowd saying, “If I can do it, so can you. Get in the Flow with me and let’s go! Let’s change the world.”

Mind you, I didn’t say anyone had to be perfect. I have my flaws. I know what most of them are, I hope, and I spend each day working on them. For me, it’s part of the learning. I want people to get out and explore the world around them. Try new things. It doesn’t matter if you fail or not. That’s not the point. It’s the experience. I took a pottery class this summer. Am I a good potter now? Oh heck no! It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. But the experience that it brought back to my painting and writing was incredible. It opened a whole new door for me and I realized things that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t taken the class.

It’s not the destination; it’s the journey. Not enough people are present for the journey and they miss so much. Why arrive at your final hours and wish you’d had the courage to do something?

So I want to reach out to a readership that enjoys discovering new things and exploring so that I can share all my wonderful information with them and vice versa.

Whew! Do you think in my class I’ll learn to not be so long winded? We can all hope so! What else do I hope to get out of my class? Mostly focus. I want to turn this blog around and make it something that like-minded people want to read and find interesting and inspirational. To do that, I feel that I need ideas to write about. I don’t want to feel like this is a chore. I want to have fun with it. I want to write about things I care about and have others care about too. I want to not feel like I’m speaking to an empty room. I want to shout to the world and be heard. I need to know how to do that. And how to have confidence. The painting and the drawing is still very new to me and it scares me to even think about writing about them and being judged wrong. The writing is familiar and I love speaking to other writers – it’s always where I’ve felt the least fear. It’s my second nature. I want to make the painting and drawing as familiar to me, especially since I’ve been more successful in the areas of art (beginners luck maybe?). My son will pipe up and remind me that I am an international selling artist when I’m feeling down, but I still don’t feel I have the right to wear that badge. And just when I feel like I’ll be allowed to wear that badge, I’m not certain yet. Hopefully soon, because the beautiful pin is already in my hand. I only need to put it on my shirt. See, the flaw of lack of confidence. Just today I had the motivation picture on my computer desktop for success: “Success: You can go great distances when you have faith in yourself.” It’s when I immerse myself in art and forget myself that I overcome this flaw and turn instead to find the “soulsong” of the story artist within me.

Are you listening to your “soulsong” and what’s it calling out to you to do? Go make it happen!

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4 Responses to Continuing Education

  1. Liz Crain says:

    My, my Dawn, what wonderful words and honesty here. Your truth, well told. I resonate with nearly everything you said: the background, the high potential, the pin of suthenticity right in your hand and, ESPECIALLY with how 3D work (clay) augments our 2D work. In the end I have been on a long journey to get the same internal creative feeling in whatever medium I work: to feel as if I am drawing with clay and sculpting with pencil or paint. I am closer, but I so enjoyed you mentioning it. I struggle with my writing, too….how long did it take you to write this post? It might have taken me 24 hours! Anyhow, so glad you’re in this class and I look forward to whatever else you write! Liz

    • dawnblair says:

      Hi, Liz. I’m pretty excited about the class. I’m sure I feel as most of our classmates do, that I need to get moving in the right direction. Having a lot of this cleared out and said has really opened up energy for me. I feel like the shackles fell off. What a great feeling. It took me about 2 hours to write. Once it started flowing it just came out. I look forward to hearing more from you too!

  2. Hi Dawn, great post. I don’t think it is it longwinded, I only wish I had that much to say. Keep writing! Nice to see someone else in the Blog Triage class that is doing Morning Pages also. I first read The Artist’s Way 10 years ago and have gone back and re-read it several times. Still a struggle for me to write, but I’m just not centered if for some rare reason I don’t get to do my Morning Pages.

    • dawnblair says:

      Hi, Keith.

      I know what you mean. I don’t feel centered if I don’t get the Morning Pages done either. Sometimes I have to give them up so I can get some painting done though. It’s sometimes tough to make that decision. I’ve also started making sketches in with my MP’s. I love your arrangements – have you ever thought of making sketches of your flowers in your MP’s?

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