Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Persistently Talented

The other day I was painting with a friend and I was given a compliment: I was told I was "talented." It's funny, because I didn't think so. Besides being far from where I would like to be, I knew that the way I paint now is because of the amount of time I've spent on it. I've poured over books on lighting and composition, I've invested in good materials, and I have put the brush to paper many times over. I know that with art, it is really easy to believe that someone is inherently good at it and overlook the amount of time spent on the craft. It is my belief that no one is really talented, people are just persistent... although there may be those who's fine motor skills develop a little faster. After thinking on the idea of talent, I wanted to find a way to prove that it is persistence and not talent that creates great works of art.

I've devised a little experiment to prove my hypothesis which is to learn to write with a non-dominant hand. The idea behind it was to get good at something no one starts off proficient at but everyone is capable of with practice. I know that no one ever really says, "You can write? You are so talented." But if we can get our non-dominate hand to write, it means we can get it to draw. To start off Connor and I are now both writing out the alphabet once each day with our non-dominant hand.  It has already been quite interesting. Both of us found that we were trying to use our whole arm to move the pen rather than the wrist at first. I also noticed that the muscles in my non-dominate hand are not nearly as strong as my dominant hand. I'm not sure where the experiment will end, but I think it will be interesting to see if we can eventually write with both hands.
My letters are on the left, Connor's are on the right. The first alphabet on the page was done with our dominant hand as a control.

I told my Mum what we were up to and she laughed. Something about, "As if you didn't have enough projects going on." Mum might be right. I'm working on my second skein for Tour de Fleece. I'm entirely sure I won't finish this one by the end of it, but I'll be close. I've finished the first bobbin and am a third of the way through the second.
Wonderland Dyeworks 80/20 Merino/Tussah Silk in Coral Reef

I was so excited by my first skein for this year's Tour de Fleece that I already cast on. The pattern is called Primavera. It was written for a 66 stitch sock, but is easily adapted to the 54 stitch sock I am making.

I'm achingly close to finishing my Dad's Peeta Socks. I just have weave in ends and block them. It will happen, I'm just a bit more enthralled with the Primavera socks at the moment.

The Dude Sweater is also growing quite a bit. I am at the point where I need to join the sleeves to the body. It is going to require some concentration that I just haven't had for the last few days, so it will sit a wee bit longer.

So what do you all think? Is talent something you just have or is it something you develop?

2 comments :

woollenwilderness said...

First off, you will definitely be able to write with your non-dominant hand if you keep practicing like this. No doubt that a lot of art and crafting has to do with 'basic' motor skill learning. If you're to believe science then talent is not a thing, and it all comes down to practice and hard work. In real life it's sometimes a bit difficult to believe that though, as some people just seem faster to get a hang of things than others.

José said...

I've been thinking about the talent.. and guess I agree with wollenwilderness. True, skills are very important and one can practice those. But how about an eye for detail, and for colour ? And how about originality ? I wonder if lots of practice alone is enough to come up with original ideas ?

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