The value of self education

Continuing an education well into late age is something that has been scientifically proven to keep us young in mind and stop the cobwebs forming. In the past I may have wondered why someone would want to complete a PHD in advanced years but I have discovered one visionary can change the world a little at a time. Their effect may persist for decades or centuries. Each of us has something to contribute to the progression of mankind.

Many, who have a passion and vision, have followed a focus that in turn answers the questions for rest of us. Recently I attended a one-day workshop on Colour Interval and Linkage. It was given by 74 year old artist Merv Moriarity, who founded Flying Arts forty years ago. Merv’s comment, re his Flying Arts association, was that taking art to remote places had found him, rather than he had found it. Doesn’t creativity at its best always seem to work that way?

With 20 odds years of art education behind me now, and working mostly intuitively, I was amazed to realise that I had never had an actual lesson in colour.  At university level it was determined we knew how to mix the primaries, and had a colour wheel, but nothing above that level was pursued.  The descriptions Merv gives for colour components makes more sense to me than all the books I had read on the subject. He gave us an insight into the spiritual connections of colour, along with the practical and mathematic equations in he had studied for around 10 years.

Recently I found myself in a Ginko workshop with Graham Nunn, a well-respected Brisbane poet and follower of Haiku.  The two workshops topics resonated as both revealed sides of nature that excite and inspire my arts practice. Both of these workshops filled in gaps in my knowledge base and will add fuel to my own workshops on creative direction. I intend to keep renewing and refilling my brain until I die and therefor keep the facilities in my brain active so there is a great chance that I will always accomplish new things. If you have gaps in your understanding, especially in the creative arts, then I recommend setting out and finding the answers. Often they aren’t immediate but once there is a focus they will come from everywhere.

Below is a recent painting inspired by a visit in September to Drip Gorge in NSW. Painting the long canvas format was a fun challenge and the shapes in the four paintings that eventuated came from a dream I had prior to beginning work in the studio.

Alchemy -Along the Coast 152 x 51 cm acrylic on canvas