UNLEARNING

For the first time in over 2 weeks, I had a REAL nights sleep, FINALLY. I’ve been beyond tired.

When I was 19 years old, I was determined to quit art school and move up to Woodstock, NY and become a potter. So, knowing nothing about how to actually do that, I drove up to Woodstock from my parents Long Island home in the early spring and found a potters assistant job and an apartment. The apartment cost $200. a month and the job paid $85. a week. With a little waitressing job on the side, everything was fine, I had plenty of money until I totalled my cute little car and had to hitch hike everywhere. So it lasted almost a year, after which I returned to art school, only to abandon pottery for printmaking.

It turned out that I loved Leslie, learned about the business and all the ins and out of running a ceramics studio BUT I really did not like her pottery. I learned to throw EXACTLY like her. To make a long story short, I acquired some bad habits. Habits that needed to be unlearned.

The next summer, I attended Alfred University’s summer ceramics program. It was there I learned how hard it is to unlearn bad habits. It was a painful process.

Right now, at the Wurlitzer, there is a whole lot of “Unlearning” going on. After 20 years of creating images that don’t offend, images that have a tighter graphic quality and are easily understood, I need to unlearn the habit of self-censoring, self editing.

Here are a few of the the things I have “relearned”

1. Unless you are totally stuck, NEVER show anyone a painting in progress.

2. The subject does NOT need to be outlined.. DUH!

3. Sometimes the painting is finished before it looks refined.

4. The work will probably offend SOMEONE.

5. I can paint the same subject matter over and over again with varying viewpoints, varying palettes, varying sizes, varying media. Only then will it’s multi dimensional secrets begin to unravel.

Unfortunately, someone nominated me to do this Facebook 5 day challenge. Whoever started this should be smacked. But, because I really love Facebook and I have respect for the protocol of Facebook, I relented and obeyed. So my blog has taken a bit of a back seat these last few days. Also I have been away from my studio for a few days.

There’s a painting on the wall right now but you can’t see it because it’s not done yet!!!!

See, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

2 Comments on “UNLEARNING

  1. good one Val—-I agree with all the points that you mentioned—-Maybe all that lack of sleep was enlightening! woo-hooooooo! Now just listen to your
    …(drumroll please) inner self…… and paint. 🙂 And maybe I should do the same.

  2. After I read your post aloud to Ed—-Ed says—“that is what we call a breakthrough”. Ha…So there, You made a “breakthrough” today Val.

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Val Sivilli
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