Leonardo da Vinci, Autodidact

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28 Nov 2017 – Leonardo da Vinci is one of my favorite historical figures, he epitomizes the concept of the Renaissance Man.  He was also an autodidact, as am I.

One of the really cool things about being an artist, a craftsman, a creative who makes ‘things’ is that you get to learn how to use all kinds of new tools and materials.  There are so many of both available now that it’s a nearly endless supply of cool new stuff to try.  In the last approximately 2 years, I have learned about acrylic painting, glass fusing, metal working/welding, building outdoor sculpture and a vast array of associated smaller skills and techniques and the materials to go with them.  Add that to the woodworking and ceramic/clay mojo I already had and I can make all kinds of cool shit (jus’ sayin’!).

There is a learning curve to be able to use new tools and materials. That bothers me a little: I just want to Do It (thank you Nike).  So, I often dive in with a cursory look at directions and see what happens.  Do I get mediocre results sometimes?  Sure.  Then I adapt and try try again (no success like failure).  Sometimes I have to buckle down and either really read the directions or actually practice for a while before I get the results I had in my head to be sitting on my workbench.  I can live with that.

Other times – often in fact – I discover awesome effects and bits of aesthetic wonderment that would not have happened if I was reading the directions.

I have this old T-shirt my wife Marsha bought for me 20+ years ago.  Its says, among a chaotic design of color and shapes, ART: Break The Rules.  I can do that …

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