Sunday, March 14, 2010

Zen Mind Beginner's Mind...Shunryu Suzuki-roshi

I love the teachings of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi.....that approaching all things as a beginner, as a child, is the way to go.  It follows, then, that we can learn from the experiences of a newbie, that artist who is completely unencumbered with rules and rituals.  It also follows that loads-full of knowledge is questionable....that "having" knowledge can sometimes be prohibitive.  And so, my painting and drawing classes are a mix of artists....it is more fun that way....we can all learn from each other.  It also follows, for me, that reaching certain levels of certain art organizations that grant the use of special initials when "more accomplished artists" deem your work worthy of theirs is a slippery slope.  Of course, goals and the reaching of those goals are worthy endeavors.  But resting on the laurels of a signature membership is not.  Approaching the work with the enthusiasm of a child and the freshness of a beginner is to be encouraged.  Solving new problems in new and personal ways.

Jackie has never before taken an art class.  She has a sense of fun and openness about her.  Although we experienced painters agreed that the composition could benefit from cropping in order to make either the foreground or the background dominant, this scene from her back yard in the snow is wonderful.....and the snow strokes done in blue with a flat brush are enviable. 


My right hand holds the hand of someone who knows less than me, and I am the teacher.
My left hand holds the hand of someone who knows more than me, and I am the student.


Thank you, Jackie.

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