Tag Archives: teaching

Florence, Day 8: A Journey Within: Sometimes You Do Need to Run Away



The urge to paint has been strong. Yes, I’m here to study art, and I have been, but I’ve been playing with my pencil, experimenting with some oil sticks and watercolor. But my acrylics lay waiting. And that is my medium of choice.

I woke up sore, a good sore, the kind that comes from going and going, walking, then walking some more. So, I had to decide: a day trip to Siena or paint. Siena sounded oh-so-lovely, but my sore feet were less enthusiastic. Knowing I have three more weeks gave me the boost to stay in, set up a “studio” and paint.

I’m not sure why, but whenever I’m studying my craft, I don’t do my best work. I think it’s partially an identity crisis. What I mean by this is, you’re learning new things that make you approach your work differently. I think it’s partly just getting used to those new things.


There is also the being away part. Out of my studio, my habits, my regular systems. Sure, everywhere you go, there you are, and all that, but still: Changing your surroundings shakes things up, makes you look at things differently. It’s all good, but also adds to the out-of-my-element feeling with my work.

All I know for sure is I only left the house today for provisions, and yet I went on a journey: one within. The kind that often shows up when you’re away and your senses are assaulted in that beautiful way that new surroundings provide.

I need to believe my own words to my students when I teach. Things like, “You won’t do your best work; don’t expect to. It’s about the process. Be in the moment with your work and detach from the outcome.” Reminding myself, as I do my students: “Get out of your own way and let the art happen.”

I’m not sure how well I did at this, I only know I committed to the process, honored my time with my craft and finished happy in my soul. That, after all, is the most important bit: the commitment to the work and the process.