When we first come into this world we learn at an unbelievable rate. The neurons are firing and making connections at quantum speed. Imagine this, everything you see is a first.

 

Those first-time images are being implanted into memory so you will recognize them again when seen. How you interact with those images has to come with experience and learning. When we get a little older that rate of learning slows a bit. We are definitely still taking things in, but not quite at the rate as in the beginning.

 

I believe this is why the brain prunes back some of the bulk of neurons we are born with. This does not mean there aren’t huge amounts of connections being made even in older people each day, depending on their activity. Learning to draw and paint is much the same way. We learn so much in the beginning, probably from the first time you held a pencil, until the familiar settles in and we begin to practice, and hone compared to envision and experience.

 

The beginning is always exciting but so is the familiarity and practice. There is a LOT to begin to draw and paint. Besides becoming familiar with the images, an artist has to learn to manage and manipulate the tools. For instance, learning all the wonderful things you can do with just a pencil. It’s multi-faceted learning with many faces.

 

After mastery takes place from this point, an artist can then begin to experiment with style, technique, tools. How do we expound our area of mastery? There are many great things learned from visual experience. The way the sky and water look over a seascape with a setting sun. If an artist hasn’t experienced this, it would be an arduous task to paint.

 

Having the visual memory of this scene will help greatly. So grows our experiences, so grows our learning. It is important to take these steps in learning to properly lay the foundation for our learning. One thing at a time. One step at a time.

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