I guess that’s the problem with being vaguely unconsciously competent: you forget how you got there. It would be like getting on a bike and trying to ride it as though you didn’t know how to ride a bike. Once it’s clicked, it’s hard to unfasten.
Megan is learning: she’s seeing things and trying to capture them. For me, learning to paint was about learning how not to do that: i started by trying to copy what i thought was in front of me, but only really made progress when i found a style that let me capture what i felt about what was in front of me.
There’s an exhibition in the village here by a chap that paints these photo realistic seascapes. The lady in the gallery asked me what i thought of it: not really my cup of tea. Technically, it’s brilliant, but i kind of find myself asking what the point is. It looks like a photo. Isn’t that the point of a photo? I want a painting to add something else, i’m more interested in the essence of the thing, the additional layers that you can add through the visual interpretation than i am in the pure representation of the thing itself.
So the thought of teaching Megan how to paint is worrying, as it means teaching her how not to see what’s in front of her. Then getting her to forget anything i’ve taught her and find her own style. Which is a big ask for a ten year old. Or, for that matter, a forty year old.
I guess it’s like looking at leadership: you can talk the theory, but it’s only when you lead that you actually really learn leadership.