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Student mind, beginner’s mind

May 21, 2012

It is difficult to be a professional, and even more difficult to profile as a professional, and still keep a beginner’s mind.

The term ‘beginner’s mind’ comes from Shunryu Suzuki’s classic book,’ Zen mind beginner’s mind’, and it refers to the open mindedness needed to experience life anew each moment. It is also about the humility needed to refrain from the, ‘I know this already’ attitude, and to keep learning.

In the most recent period of my ongoing oil painting journey I reached the point where I have some handle on the technique. And I’m at a cross roads as to where to go after the last’ bottle series’ painting.

I could keep repeating more or less successful bottle paintings, but that doesn’t light my lights. And I was already beginning to feel restrained by the realism. My original inspiration to paint again was Elizabeth Blackadder”s oil paintings, and they play with simultaneously touching realism lightly and letting it go.

Blackadder painting, ‘Still life with Chalice’

Blackadder still life

I really miss that student state of mind I had at art college. We’d get an assignment and just leap in to see where it would take us, experimenting all the way.

So I am trying to retrieve that and break away from what I’m already doing to see what I can do.

OK, now the hard part. Do I show my process here? As a professional who certainly intends to sell some paintings further on down the line, do I risk creating an image of myself as an amateur by showing my failures along the way? Or do I put all that aside and share my journey honestly, trusting that when I settle on a direction, it will be strong and convincing enough to attract serious buyers?

I like sharing my process, that is how we inspire and learn from each other. So this morning’s experiment is in the post above, ‘Dirty painting’.

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2 Responses to “Student mind, beginner’s mind”

  1. decorartuk Says:

    Share it. Please?


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