Precious… Rambling…

I didn’t do well in college, for all the reasons that are probably going through your head. But one phrase, from my painting teacher, really crushed me. She said I needed to “stop being so precious.” I’ve heard it in my head now for years, my go-to phrase meaning “you aren’t very good, so don’t bother.” She said it loudly, frustrated with me, and my sad attempts at painting on large canvases. I didn’t understand that it was okay that I didn’t really “get” being an expressive painter, throwing my emotions on the canvas and splashing around. I didn’t understand that she was actually a pretty poor teacher. I knew that I liked small. I liked intimate. I liked friendly. (Okay, I was also lazy, but let’s not get into that.) There were no classes on illustrating (this wasn’t an art school)… and I was distracted by being 19 years old, so I never bothered to figure out that there might be other mentors around.

So today I was feeling frustrated. I had started 2 more starry skies last night, a hawk, and a horse, and neither worked out. I told myself that was fine, practice is good… but since these are small, and yes, “precious,” I heard that same voice in my head and started wondering why I was bothering trying to do a series. Today, this mole popped into my head, a shiny little fellow poking his head out to sniff around at the stars. (Mole Smells the Stars)

mole-square

While working on him, the calm settled on me, it’s become obvious to me that I’ve picked the right animal when I feel happy while painting.  According to Ted Andrews, mole “shows us how to dig out our own treasures in life through our own efforts.” I think he’s precious. Hopefully you are all on the path to finding your own treasure as well.

6 thoughts on “Precious… Rambling…”

  1. This is wonderful, both words and painting. What a BAD teacher that was, too. She wouldn’t have liked Beatrix Potter, I bet. Or the people who painted the miniatures in the old Books of Days.

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  2. (Mary’s friend). I love this mole. I really feel the awe, and the tenderness. This is how I feel looking at the stars too. Very evocative. Thank you. It is, in fact, precious.

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  3. Love the mole and its wisdom 🙂
    I was told in art school that I should be willing to make shit… never agreed with that… Too many bad teachers 😉 will dig out from underneath of them!

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