How Those That Did it Did it,
And How You Can do it too!
This next section is a real ‘wall of text’, for both of us, you and me; I have to write it, you should read it. It is important, but I'm not sure how to present it, so I think I ramble on a bit, but, sitll, within the ramble there is some value, so maybe you should read it.
(No you shouldn’t. –ed)
There is a lot of opinion here, but I’m putting all this down because it is what I have learned after having instructed people just like you for nearly … 25 years now … wow … that long … I need to get a life.
So, "attitudes". What are they?
An attitude is how one has decided to relate with someone, or a condition … whatever. Think about it for a second … ‘look’ at any attitude you have right now, any, something you may like, dislike, people, places, things, do that before you read any further ... really, do that, right now, just take a second to look at how you feel towards anything, ever.
Okay Bob, I did it ____________________
What you are looking at is an attitude.
Any relationship you have with anything or anyone is governed by an attitude you have regarding that relationship.
Further, attitudes are a decision one has made to determine how they are going to relate to something or someone in the future, and these attitudes are entirely based in an experience, good or bad, known or not; the experience produces a decision and that decision is an attitude.
So, now, for you as an artist, please read without judging. Read what is being said first, see if it has any value to you before you condemn it.
Let’s get right into it!
Where are all these ‘Bummer’ Feelings Coming From?
Speaking of the past, remember this, from a previous section;
If you can get a mental picture of it, you know you know it.
If you cannot get a mental picture of it, you think you don’t know it.
These two lines have everything to do with your life.
Let’s examine further how this principle, axiom, law, whatever it is, may be affecting you right now, as you are reading this. It has been used quite viscously on you by the unkind. It has a negative side, but, as life would have it, that negative side can be undone quite easily, and then ignored.
Keep in mind that these pictures contain more than just visual data. In any picture you will also find that smells, tastes, emotions, attitudes are also recorded. You are able to recognize tastes, sounds, emotions, etc., because they also exist in those pictures. If you can get a picture of you eating your favorite meal, you will have as part of that picture, all the perceptions you recorded as you ate it, including taste, temperature, likes, dislikes, how you felt about it, and so on. That is why you have all that baggage hitting you when you actually ‘see’ the thing that makes it difficult to draw it. For example, a lemon has a whole bank of mental data in the form of these pictures, which include emotions and attitudes. Thus, when you ‘see’ that ‘thing’, you unknowingly use these pictures of past experiences with this ‘thing’ to identify it, and so you now ‘know’ what it is, a lemon, but you also get the rest of the stuff in those pictures; your feelings about it, your decisions about it, your attitudes towards it, and so on. Included are hidden and unknown or unrecognized associations that also come surging up when you ‘recognize’ something. If you had trouble with blondes sometime in your life, you may have trouble drawing a lemon, or have a fixation on brown eyes who knows, that association with ‘blondes’ produced an attitude that is still with you today.
Once you understand where that baggage is coming from, you are freed up from it considerably. Its ability to affect you is vastly reduced. That is how therapy works.
The above is one of the reasons why at this studio you are taught not to ‘see’ the subject, but the shapes that make it look what it looks like.
If you were to see something which you had no mental pictures, then that would mean you had never seen it before, had no experiences with it, and so would not know what it is. Oddly enough, you could probably draw it quite easily since you’d have no attitudes towards it!
(‘Beginners luck’ is probably may well be that the person never having ‘done’ this before, has no attitudes limiting their ability to do it. Given enough time, and enough ‘experience’, and the resulting changes in attitudes and such, and that ‘luck’ is gone. You are reduced to being ‘normal’.)
In art, fine art, you are hitting very close to the home of a Being. What is more personal, more important to anyone than their own sense of creativity, or their own sense of what is beautiful? These get slammed at all your life by others of different views, and so we go into doubt about our own views. You may have disagreed with their view, but for some god-awful-reason you decided to grant the ‘other’ person an altitude over you, and that their view was, well, ‘better’ or something, than is yours, you reduce yourself in some way. And so, like the idiot we all tend to be at times, including me, you assumed something was wrong with your aesthetic senses, and so you invalidated and reduced your own view!
My gawd, what is more personal to you than your own view, your own decisions, your own conclusions, of your own experiences, don’t replace them with someone else’s!
Just because some piece of crap hangs on the wall of a gallery, or is in the page of some glossy book, doesn’t mean anything except someone knows the art business quite well, they can sell it and make money from it, it may just as well be a pair of socks. Its appearance on that wall or in that ‘glossy’ often has nothing to do with how ‘good’ it is. Art ‘authorities’ and art ‘critics’ are notorious for this tactic; their altitude, (and income), is based solely on making you feel stupid and uneducated, and they go to great lengths to get you to degrade your own sense of beauty, and to get you to abandon yours and adopt theirs.
Some of your ‘friends’ will do the same, perhaps innocently, usually not.
And, as I said, much like the rest of us at one time or another, you fall for it. You compromise your own personal integrity, and so you are a little ‘smaller’ than what you were before the compromise.
Thus, you may have a lot of personal degradation, invalidation, failures, upsets, etc., attached to these subjects.
Thus, there is an important lesson to be learned here;
Any attitude you now have is a decision you made in the past!
Bold and underlined, if you noticed.
And, the real joker here is that that attitude from the past experience may be utterly, completely, irrelevant to the situation at hand, the way things are now, but you don’t see that since you are filtering the present through that attitude from before.
Your present attitudes towards things are based on previous decisions based on previous experiences. It’s your decisions on how something has affected you and how you are going to view it in the future. These decisions are also one of the main barriers to doing anything. If you have ever had trouble in some subject in the past, you tend to avoid it in the present or the future. Why? Because of all the uncomfortable associations you have with it from that past experience you don’t want to repeat, and why would you?
Making a decision helps you by speeding up the process of recognition, but gets in the way of new perceptions. So, the term, ‘baggage’ refers to a previous decision you have made about something that gets in the way of you seeing it ‘now’.
You know you won’t like it!
Because you didn’t like it before!
You know you can’t draw!
Because you had problems drawing before!
You know you don’t want to eat any chocolate cake!
Because you are nuts, that’s why. No, just kidding. Maybe once you ate too much, and got sick. Or, it was a lousy chocolate cake. Who knows, maybe calories, not all decisions are bad?
A personal experience I had really demonstrates how this can really affect you. I once bought a can of carrot juice, something I had heard a lot about but had never tried. When I went to pay for it, I noticed the clerk smiling, oddly, but thought nothing of it. When I left the store and opened the can and took a big swig of what is supposed to be a wonderful and healthy drink, I nearly died. I guess it was bad, the reaction was swift and vicious.
For years and years I couldn’t even think about carrot juice, even when people around me swore by it. When they’d drink it, I’d have this horrible ;physical reaction as if I was drinking it. Well, a very dear friend of mine, and fellow artist, Louis Askew, who practically lived on this stuff, one day convinced me to try his, and against my better judgement I did so, and Wow!, what a difference. To this day I make my own carrot juice and enjoy it regularly.
Change the experience, you can change the decision, and thus the attitude.
And this is why I’m yapping about this so much, it really is important that you understand that concept for what we are doing her, you are the source of your own attitudes, and if that attitude limits you in some way, guess what, you can change it.
Yup, you can change it, very, very easily, and the wise person recognizes this, and so don’t lose their fascination with life and things in it.
You are responsible for your decisions.
You are responsible for your attitudes.
You created them.
You can just as easily change them.
If you think you can’t change them, then that attitude is probably the first attitude you should look at, where did you pick that one up?
So, my point in all this is when you have a consideration that is limiting you in some way, that if you really looked at it and it doesn’t seem to make sense, but you for sure are thinking that way, then please get this; what you are experiencing now is an attitude you made from an earlier situation, and this attitude you are experiencing now may have nothing to do whatsoever with the activity in which you are presently involved.
If that earlier experience had a negative effect upon you, one that you allowed yourself to be reduced or you felt some degradation, you may well re-experience that identical, same sense of degradation right now, in the present, where it has no business being!
This is so important and I’ve seen it happening so many times, I’m not going to stop yapping about it, not yet. It is important to me and the future of the world that you at least read and understand this and may even think about it
There is a trap here, and the anatomy of that trap is that you may associate that presently felt feeling with your present time circumstances, the past experience being ‘hidden’ or forgotten, and so that attitude can hinder your present activity by you confusing your past with your present. You will think it has something to with ‘now’, because you feel it ‘now’. You will come across this phenomenon often. Sometimes it will be of sufficient force to knock you back on your butt. Frustration. Upsets. Please realize it’s just a lot of ‘baggage’; experience, decision, attitude, time.
Fortunately, you can get rid of these limiting and negative attitudes quite easily. After all, they are just viewpoints based on some experience. Change the experience, and you can easily change the viewpoint. It is that easy, as I related in my ‘carrot’ juice story above, but it takes some guts to do it. Granted, some people could jump to the moon easier than they could change their mind. But, that is another story. Personally, I suspect that the ability to change ones’ mind is a measure of one’s sanity.
So, now what? Once you realize that maybe, just maybe, what is written here has something to do with your present condition, how can you ‘fix’ it up, there are ways to do so.
The best and easiest is to just change the experience. You feel you can’t draw, well, find someone who can walk you through the initial hesitation to get you going, and draw! Change the experience. A friend of mine never drew because he couldn’t. He was certain of that even though he’d never drawn, not since he was a kid I guess, all kids draw, don’t they? Anyway, we chatted. I mentioned the above stuff, no pushing him or trying to convince him, I’d long since learned not to do that, and the next day he came back from work with this drawing of a tree he had done during lunch. He felt really good about it.
Another very effective way is using that bit of tech you probably ignored, The ‘Basic Error’ and the ‘Principle of Correction’, studied earlier in the course, somewhere back there, look it up.
This tech is very effective and really can get rid of the attitude forever because it gets you back to the actual incident when you made that decision and ‘copped’ (sp) that attitude. (‘copped’ is ‘60’s term meaning ‘took on’ or ‘made your own’, something like that.) I’ve used this tech myself, and found the exact moment, the exact incident, the exact decision, the exact attitude, that drove me off the proper path as an artist for a decade, a decade!! I am and always will be my own biggest fool!
Once I saw it, everything about that attitude blew off forever.
Anyway, use that tech and you can find exactly where you went off the rails earlier, and get back on them again. By doing so, those attitudes and pictures and emotions that plague you now that stem from an earlier experience separate out from the present, and move back into the past where they belong, or just evaporate. Their power to influence you now may be totally gone, or considerably reduced.
Using the ‘Primary Error’ and the ‘Principle of Correction’ tech, you can rehabilitate your goals as an artist, or nearly any other part of your life, much less just fix up the present godawfulmess you now find yourself in.
Or, you can just simply tough it out and just ignore those feelings, and create a new and more pleasant experience, and so change how you feel about this situation.
Now, wouldn’t that be nice!
So keep this in mind; if you are experiencing one of these moments of frustration, loss of confidence, any self-limiting consideration, please realize you have been ‘here’ before! If you stick with what you are doing and get through it, you will win and you will get out of those old attitudes. If you back off, you are stuck with them forever! After all, that is what you did last time, and that is why you still have them. They are floating through time along with you folks, an unwelcome shadow.
Visualizations and Decisions
You should think a little bit more about this ‘visualization’ stuff, you know. It has a profound effect on every activity you do, including the mental ones.
When you visualize something, what you are visualizing are your decisions about it.
Visualization is a decision. You see what you have already decided to see. What you see is determined by your reason for looking. If you look at a cup to buy it, you notice specific things, to throw it at someone, you notice other things, to fill it up with scalding hot tea, other things. What you see is determined ahead of time.
And here is another hole filled with unhappy artists, just like the one mentioned earlier on the course!
Previous decisions you’ve made determine what you ‘see’ now; how you see something now is strongly, overwhelmingly, influenced by your decisions from having seen it, or something like it, before. Usually, this means that you don’t see what you are looking at now. Your eyes may be pointing the right direction, but instead of seeing what is in front of you, you ‘see’ what you think you are looking at. Your ‘mind’, your mental pictures, have gotten in the way of your perceptions. What you are ‘seeing’ are your previously made decisions.
Previous decisions are the filter through which you view your life, so this is no small thing!
Now, don’t get the idea that ‘decisions’ are ‘bad’ in some way. They aren’t. The ‘hole’ mentioned above is your unawareness that you have made the decision, or your unwillingness to examine that decision and change your mind. It is your unexamined, fixed ideas that lead to fixed and unchanging attitudes and conditions in life and it applies to any aspect of your life. You’ve decided things look a certain way, or you’ve decided things have a certain relationship relative to you or something else. And so when it is not that way, you fail to see it. You are filtering the present with all the decisions you’ve made in the past.
I'm still yapping on about this because you cannot separate your life from your art, you bring your life with you to the paper and canvas, or wordprocesser or musical instrument. My concern is for you as an artist, and so to understand some of the 'stuff' you'll have to go through to achieve your goals in art, well, they are the same 'stuffs' you expereince in life. So, just saying all this so you understand why it is so important to be aware of all this as you work your way towards your heavenly goals.
Have you ever noticed that you may pick up a prop you are very familiar with, such as a banana, and set it down to draw it, and get all frustrated! After all, it is simple; you’ve seen thousands of bananas all your life! If you cannot draw something as familiar as a banana, what can you draw? Well, why the problem? Because for the first time in decades, you have to actually look at it now! Previously, when you ‘looked’ at a banana, what you really saw were your previous decisions about it. You never saw it, you just recognized it. There is a difference.
Why make decisions in the first place? Well, you need to decide what to do before you can do it. You need to decide sooner or later just how red is the rose. If you don’t make decisions, you will be in a state of perpetual uncertainty. At some point, you have to decide what to do! This means you have to visualize what you want to do, and then do it.
Even if the visualization is limited to just getting started, you are still visualizing getting started, and so you can get started.
These visualizations are also an essential element in the production of any controlled motion, as it gives you prediction, the estimation of the amount of effort required to get something done.
Decisions = knowing what to do = motion = survival.
No decision = not knowing what to do = motionlessness = non-survival. Your ‘decisions’ are what you know you know; probably in truth, the only thing that you know, probably the only thing you really create.
Okay, I'm done. Sorry for the long wall of text.