Episode 37: You Have Everything You Need

Jun 24, 2019

In this talk from a recent process painting workshop, Stewart Cubley discusses one of the core beliefs of The Painting Experience: You have everything you need to be creative.

An excerpt from You Have Everything You Need . . .

Pretty soon, you’re going to be painting. We’re not going to educate you. We’re going to turn you loose, because there’s a core belief behind this work, which is that you have everything that you need. You don’t have to learn technique. You don’t have to learn anything special about materials. You don’t have to learn how to do certain things in order to be creative. You don’t have to put anything between you and your creativity.

That’s pretty important, because if you come here thinking, “Oh, they’re going to teach me some cool art technique, and I’m really going to learn how to do certain things,” you might be in for a rude awakening, because we’re going to trust that you already know what to do. Our interactions with you are going to be supporting that, that everyone in this room has a very unique way of using the materials. And you can’t compare them. They’re so unique for each person. Everyone has their own quirky way of making paintings.

And who’s to say that one is better than another? How could you ever say that? You come here because you have a sense of a potential. You wouldn’t come here unless you sense there was some potential in you that would come through this experience. And generally with art, when you think about the whole tradition of art, that potential is projected upon the finished product. Like “maybe I actually have a hidden talent that I’ve never suspected, and I’m going to discover it in this workshop, and my paintings are going to be so incredible that I’m going to become recognized.” [Laughter]

But we have a sense that there’s a bigger potential in that. And a more important potential. And it’s not going to be because the product that you create is more special than other people’s. It’s not going to be the result of your activity. It’s going to be the activity itself. This is where the potential really lies—in the act of creating, which is really accessing the deepest part of yourself. When you think about what creativity is, it’s you connecting with your own source, with that unknown that you can’t predict, you can’t expect, and yet, it comes out of you.

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