We are living in an incredibly charged up information age. A time where the air itself is infused with so much electrifying energy that our mind literally spins at high speed velocity and it’s really amazing how we still manage to stay grounded. No knowledge is beyond the scope and breadth of our grasp. We learn as we breathe each day and that too in copious volumes.
The virtual world bombards us with new information every other second and even if one isn’t quite internet savvy, you would still be exposed to a lot more than you signed up for. It’s much like the era of the amazing gold rush only this knowledge boom is far more precious than any metal or stone.
The gift of learning is what makes our species distinct and blessed. We now google anything and everything and refresh our existing memory banks throughout the day. Education isn’t confined to brick and mortar institutions anymore, any new skill or field of study is easily accessible through the net. In short we cannot come up with any tangible excuse for being unable to learn something we wanted to other than our own reluctance to do so. There are even comprehensive college level courses available for free online. Coursera, Udacity and Duolingo are my personal favourite net destinations for learning. Honestly, the kind of courses that Coursera offers is unbelievable and some of the most prestigious universities are onboard here. More options definitely exist but I find these sites quite engaging and fulfilling as far as my learning outcomes are concerned.
YouTube and Pinterest are yet other popular learning repositories where the delightful visual array and level of engagement makes everything fun to learn. From spirituality to science, fantastic lectures on almost any field of study are a few keystrokes away. From rolling out the perfect flatbreads, baking solutions, figuring out the ins and outs of your gadgets to the most amazing DIY hacks ever; YouTube and Pinterest are perfect treasure troves for sure. In fact I really want to share something I have recently started to learn using solely YouTube tutorials.
During one of our vacations in March this year at my dad’s place my sister asked me to get my hyperactive 4 year old daughter interested in paints hoping it might help her to focus and calm down a bit. Well, it certainly did that and more importantly it’s been one heck of a wonderful journey of discovery and pure joy ever since. Painting with my daughter has been real fun and we both enjoy the creative time spent together. But I had no idea that a splash of colour on the canvas could feel so exhilarating and relaxing, it’s totally therapeutic. I can draw some elementary stuff but had never really tried my hand at painting.
My neighbor in India, Nilofer Hanif is a very talented artist and her paintings are really inspiring. Her works have always filled me with a sense of awe and often made me wonder how incredible it must feel to be able to paint so beautifully. When you find something that overwhelms you or fills you with wonder and realize one fine day that you can learn this skill too, the feeling is one of sheer delight.
I think with the number of in depth tutorials that YouTube offers anyone can learn to paint from scratch. I Did! My favourite tutors are ‘Theartsherpa’, ‘Ryan O’Rourke’s 10 minute paintings’ and ‘Katie Jobling Art’. Cinnamon Cooney @ ‘theartsherpa’ makes learning to paint so much fun and she exudes so much optimism and enthusiasm that even if you don’t know a thing about art you will want to grab a paintbrush and have a go at it. She really keeps you motivated and engaged throughout her art lesson and her positive energy is quite infectious. Teachers have a big hand in making you want to learn something and developing your latent potential into something magical.
I have posted some of my initial paintings. They are completely amateur attempts and it required a lot of nerve to post them here but I have really enjoyed making them and I am hoping I can improve and learn more each day. We all take our initial fumbling steps with anything new and I am taking mine too.
The Wisteria Tree and the Sailboat Sunset Seascape are both paintings from ‘theartsherpa’ tutorials. The Moonlit Forest Landscape is from ‘Ryan O’ Rourke’s’ tutorial. The Tropical Beach Sunset is my first original from photo to canvas…..was giddy with joy over that one and the last one is a copy of Fog Alley by Leonid Afremov. I absolutely love Leonid Afremov’s work, all his paintings are colourful, vibrant and pulse with energy and this zeal for life that I find so irresistible.
I don’t really know if this fascination with painting is a just a phase or something I might hold on to and work on further but I know it adds something very rewarding to my life. If you really want to learn a new skill, an art form, a language or a field of study then there is no stopping you. The more we learn, the more fulfilling life becomes. It’s like adding new colours to the canvas of our life, each subtle hue adds more substance and value to it. And it doesn’t really matter how big or small your new learning adventure is or whether it’s for a short time or a lifelong quest, what matters is the fascinating journey of learning it encapsulates, the things that we take from it and the people we become through it.
Feel free to share your thoughts and do let me know about any of your new learning adventures. And if you have any useful tips about painting for a beginner like me please share them.