Describe your latest attempt to learn something that did not come easily for you.
I’m an artist and that includes videography. I make videos for people all the time. Making one for me – that’s something else. So I decided to give it a try. I would very much love to start giving demonstrations of my painting techniques. I’d like to share my knowledge and help other artists. I’ve been to some awful painting demonstrations and I can see that it’s very challenging to do them. Painting is a right-brain activity and talking about what you’re doing as you’re doing it is a left-brain activity. When someone is painting and they need to describe what they’re doing, their voice actually changes. It’s as though we can’t talk and paint at the same time, but we might just be able to say a few words if they’re words we’ve pre-recorded into our brains about what we’re doing – words we know really well, because we’ve done this exact thing a million times. So when we’re painting and we need to speak, we pull that bit of talk from our memories and we sort of recite it. Oh, I don’t mean to say that we do that on purpose. I decided to try it for myself.
I decided to film myself doing a small painting of a flower pot and some heart-shaped Christmas ornaments. In my first attempt, I used one camera and a wireless mic. I painted and described what I was doing at the same time. When I transferred the footage to my editing computer I discovered that I was unable to paint and talk at the same time. I would paint a while in silence, then stop and talk about what I’d just done. Awkward. In my next attempt I painted in silence and then added a narrative sound track over the video by playing the video with my editing system so I could watch it while I talked. In the meantime, I had a wireless microphone on and narrated what I was seeing. That worked well, but felt a little awkward, as there was no ambient noise. When I laid down my brush or moved something, there was silence.
I’m going to post a little demo I did where I tried to reach a happy middle place with talking and painting at the same time. I consciously worked at it. You’ll see that I still have pauses now and then. I like the sounds of the brush swishing in the water, of the paper being slid across the table, of the palette being set down. So I think in my next attempt I’ll be quiet while I paint, but in the editing process use the ambient audio as well as the narrative. In my first attempt I had so much awkward talking while I painted that I wasn’t able to use the audio at all. Doing demonstrations and sharing knowledge is so important to me that I’m going to practice until I get it right. This was a great experience and I learned a lot!