This Week's Poll



-Coffee portrait by Je’ Czaja

By Je’ Czaja

We are creative. We might say we are not; that we don’t paint masterpieces or invent marvels that transform the world. But we are creative. Many times a day, we use our powers of creativity to solve problems. For example, we exercise our creativity every time we make a meal.

We imagine a dinner, check our supplies, and take the steps needed to give form to our idea. Sometimes we have to experiment, which requires at least enough courage to possibly fail. At the Studio, we don’t call those failures, we call them learning experiences.

As far back as we can see, way before history was written down, humans all over the world have made music, told stories, danced and made art. Humans are still doing so; creativity is in our souls. When I started the Suwannee River Studio, new members said they were not artists, but I knew they just needed a little encouragement and guidance to get started, then it was up to them to develop their skills. Skills are not magic; skill comes only by practice. We learn to play the violin by playing the violin and we don’t sound that great when we first start out. The violinists in the London Symphony sounded like cats yowling in the moonlight when they started, but now they can bring tears to our eyes.

We are all creative, including those with a tiny budget for art supplies, so I have come up with a series of Art on a Shoestring tips. Tip # 1:

We use house paint, which is acrylic paint, though it costs a fraction of so-called artist paints. We get satin white and black, plus primary red, yellow and blue from a home improvement store. With those few colors, you can mix any color you need. We put them in condiment bottles and squeeze out what we need for the session, maybe a tablespoon at a time. If we need more of a color, we squeeze out a bit more. That way, we don’t waste paint. It works just like any acrylic paint, because it is acrylic paint. The best quality acrylic house paint costs about half what the worst quality “artist” paint cost in those little bottles.

So have fun-and go ahead and make something.

Studio member Amy Bergey checks her bamboo brush project.
-Photo: Submitted

Je’ Czaja is the instructor at Suwannee River Studio. For more information call 229-375-9276.