One of the great things about NOVA is it gathers so many great hobbyists and teachers in one place. NOVA always brings in someone new every year (often from over seas), and I’ve enjoyed learning something different from each instructor.
When you’re in these classes, you pick up on more than just the technique or concept the class is about. You also get insight into the general philosophy or attitude the teacher takes towards their work.
Sometimes, that’s the more important take away than the painting technique the class was about.
Most teachers will tell you they’re in it for the fun, but a lot will also say that when it’s a job it’s tough work and really takes a certain kind of person to do it.
The thread that really stood out for me is the happiness part of that.
One of Roman’s sayings is “Paint Happy” – his philosophy is that painting should be for you, as the painter. The act of painting should be enjoyable, and if it isn’t – you’re doing something wrong. He often signs his art prints with the slogan.
Sam and Alfonso both echoed similar things. Watching Sam paint was a masterclass in throwing caution to the wind and just painting for fun. He didn’t have much of a plan going in, but he took cues from the room, how he was feeling and just improvised. Alfonso took Roman’s concept a touch further and spoke about how different painting styles are fun for different people – it’s a personal, tailored experience, so paint however makes you happiest. Experiment often.
I don’t think my current method of painting is one that makes me happy; I know my painting isn’t yielding the happiness it could.
The good news is: I’ve come to terms with why this is the case and I have been brainstorming some strategies to rectify it.