[All]: the Sensei, and Being Open Minded; the Beginner's Mind...

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  1. #1
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    [All]: the Sensei, and Being Open Minded; the Beginner's Mind...

    Hello, Painters & See-ers!

    We are all Students on a path.

    You are, and so am I--and this is a wonderful, powerful thing! Before we go into anything technical, let's get into the right frame of mind in our painting dojo. The Open & Learning Mind...

    Here at CA, there's SO much good work going on along with SO many talented, professional artists. There's a double-edged sword, though. As well as inspiration based on the Best, I see the flip-side: Learners skipping steps to jump at "style" and "product", and artists (of all levels) ignoring freedom of both thought and process in pursuit of a certain (perceived, yet vaporous) Orthodoxy. Now, aiming high is good--and so is adhering to professional standards. But let's not forget to drop our Egos, explore the unknown, and embrace the Unconventional. This is where our Student Mind comes in---and we forsake it at our own peril.

    I'm going to paraphrase a few things from this book: "Zen Guitar", by Philip Toshio Sudo (http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Guitar-Phi.../dp/068483877X). I've found that if you substitute your concept of choice for the word "guitar", you have a very useful guide to many things.

    First, a sensei is not, as is frequently mis-translated, a teacher. A sensei is "one who has gone before". I have "gone before" on the path of Paint I'm showing, but that makes me no less of a student of Art.

    In our Painting Dojo, here, we will all wear the White Belt of a Beginner. I am dead serious when I say to do this: when working here, place in front of you--or wear--a white object to act as a concrete reminder of your Open Beginner's Mind.

    Why?

    Why does a Karate student wear a gi and belt? Why does a priest wear vestments? A cop a uniform, or a chef a hat? Our attire and/or surroundings put us in mind of our purpose, and you should think enough of your endeavor to do the same.

    A white belt reminds us that we, as learners, have fresh eyes and clean Potential--we explore, we unearth, we struggle. As we struggle, we get dirty as we gain experience. As we gain experience, our whiteness (noob-ness) grays and darkens into experience...and after a Period...we end up with a black(ened) belt!

    But--it isn't over. Guess what happens next? Yup, you know it--we go back to the white belt again! We become the student again, and the whole process starts over.

    So: First assignment: Go make yourself a white belt or a white object to remind you of your Open Student's Mind. Keep it visible. (And, yeah, you can dirty it up, but mentally!)


    Nick

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  4. #2
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    Just for tonight ill wrap some toliet paper around my forehead. Thanks for this

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  6. #3
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    Dy.laneA:

    Excellent!

    (And just to show I'm down in the Trenches with ye...!)

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  8. #4
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    I got a white bandage wrapped around my shoulder, hope that counts! I'm working on the eye gleam, trying to cry a bit to get the shine happening. I have some canvases and old skateboard decks that I've primed and ready to go. but might have to paint with left hand (Tendonitis). I was able to prime the stuff with left hand so I guess I can at least do some colour mixing experiments in preparation.
    That toilet paper would look perfect with a big oily red paint dot on it, like the japanese flag.

    Last edited by Cam Sykes; October 12th, 2009 at 06:39 AM.
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  9. #5
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    *That*, my friend, is the Spirit!


    Nick


    Quote Originally Posted by Cam Sykes View Post
    I got a white bandage wrapped around my shoulder, hope that counts! I'm working on the eye gleam, trying to cry a bit to get the shine happening. I have some canvases and old skateboard decks that I've primed and ready to go. but might have to paint with left hand (Tendonitis). I was able to prime the stuff with left hand so I guess I can at least do some colour mixing experiments in preparation.
    That toilet paper would look perfect with a big oily red paint dot on it, like the japanese flag.


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  10. #6
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    Hello Nick,

    I just wanted to say thanks for making this section on the forum and posting your advice. I'm just starting to get serious about oil painting and not only do your posts provide a lot of helpful information but they also inspire me to get back to work. So for that, cheers!

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  12. #7
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    Thanks a lot for your advice, Rusko!
    Tonight, I'll start to paint with something white on me to get in the mood!

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  14. #8
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    I'm looking forward to this.


    I could only find a pair of old jockey shorts though, I bleached it some, but a few of the stains won't come out. I hope that's of acceptable (off)whiteness...

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  15. #9
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    *Bows to the "one who has gone before"*

    I shall try to join in this intruiging endevour if that's ok, but I'm just gonna stick to a white armband for now (I'll rather save my toilet paper for more important matters).

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    I bought 2 large glass chopping boards today. They were really cheap like 5 bucks each and really strong. Great for a palette. Now that I got those I feel I'm ready to do some real work.

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    sweet i just bought some oils, brushes, and canvas sketchbook last week! I will construct my toilet paper wrist band and join in the fun! Can't wait for it to start happenin.

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  18. #12
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    It is quite funny, but my drawing skills have improved A LOT since I am wearing that old white cloth around my neck when I paint.
    Interesting.

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  20. #13
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    Rofl, you guys are hilarious! I think i'm going to grab a white paper towel and tuck it into my collar as a bib too with all this food for thought.

    Also Nick, I think you should post that photo on your main website. It looks awesome! Yarrrr!

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  21. #14
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    Hi, faedri--

    You never know...maybe I will!


    Nick

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