Sunday, November 6, 2016

What is Talent?

zentangle haunted house diva challenge #291
Jalousie, Shing, Tagh, Fescur, Mooka, Msst, Hurakan
for the Halloween themed Diva Challenge #291
When I was younger, I loved exploring art materials and I deeply envied certain friends who created incredible art. Some time in my teens, when my own drawings didn't live up to the images in my head, I believed that I just wasn't as naturally talented or artistic as the peers I admired.

Around the same time I received lots of encouragement from teachers for the essays I was writing in school. Getting the ideas in my head down on paper in an orderly fashion seemed to come easily for me.  It felt like the opposite of drawing. I figured that I was meant to continue to pursue writing but that making art was not in my future.

I am so grateful to the Zentangle Method for providing an accessible entry point to making art and changing my mind.

zentangle raven flux 'nzeppel diva #290
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore"
Flux and 'NZeppel for Diva Challenge #290
Today I believe that anyone can learn to draw, that drawing is a way of thinking about and seeing the world, and as they say in Zentangle, "Anything is possible one stroke at a time."

Today I believe that the passion, commitment, patience, and hours of practice accomplished artists put into their work often gets mis-characterized as "natural talent."

Today I believe in growth mindsets and failing forward.

My beliefs around talent have changed dramatically since those tender teenage years and it's been a truly joyous discovery to see how wrong I was.

abstract encaustic painting with shellac burn
detail of an abstract encaustic painting
zentangle cubine hibred facets dex corner box diva #286
Facets, Corner Box, Chard, Cubine, Hubred, Dex
for the straight lines Diva Challenge #286

poppy lotus seed head drawing encaustic collage with pastel
illustration of poppy and lotus seed heads
encaustic collage  with pastel
zentangle tripoli monotangle for diva challenge #284
Tripoli monotangle for diva challenge #284


  1. Dear Julie, I'm always looking forward to read your blogposts. You have a lot of talent as well for writing as for drawing and painting and... The detail of the abstract encautstic painting is beautiful and your "raventile" is so original, a real piece of art, the contrasts you have created on this black tile are wonderful.I'm a great fan of your work!
    Have a nice week and kind regards.

  2. Hi Ria, you continue to be a wonderful supporter of my practice. The more time I put into art, the happier I find myself to be! (Even when I can see how much farther there is to go yet... :) I think that's the clearest sign that I'm on the right path. So glad you liked my Raven! I've had an affinity for them since I lived in a densely wooded area for a few years and we had one visit regularly to "talk" to us.

  3. All your pieces are lovely but that raven one is stunning. And it's so hard to handle the white on black technique!

    Like you I 'failed' at art when at school, despite enjoying making it. So pleased I found this scene, it's brought another dimension to my life.

    1. Thanks for visiting, Ragged Ray! I'm a little bit in love with the way the Raven turned out... :D

      I wish I could tell my younger self that "failure" is just the faster way to learn something new and that I should stick with it. At this point I guess it's up to me to make the most of knowing it now... and spreading the word to anyone kind enough to listen!