The Opening the Creative Floodgates workshop at Royal Roads has been rescheduled to:

Tues & Thurs, Feb 21, 23, 28, and March 1, 2012


There are no classes in life for beginners; right away you are always asked to deal with what is most difficult.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke



Michael Waters


What makes mastery in an art? Looking at the highest score could be used in competitive arts, like tennis - and Roger Federer is testament, but only the physical arts allow for such measurement, and then only some of them.

In the end, like beauty, it is subjective, and trying to proove it misses the point. What I see are two characteristics which always seem to be leading the activity of any artist that strikes me as having achieved mastery.

One is originality. A person who finds their own voice in an art always sounds original, even when it is a traditional art where the goals are well defined. There is a signature that makes that artist recognizable among all others.

The second is authenticity. The complete conviction present in masterful art is unmistakable. There is a resonance within that describes a state of no conflict, nothing held back from contributing to the intended expression. All resources are on the table. The art is a perfect expression of how the artist actually feels.


A lesson for me in this approach has been seeing clearly that no matter how much one achieves in a given art, there is still so much that one has not mastered that being humble is the only sane response. "Just scratching the surface" as I heard a highly accomplished singer once remark.


As well, every experience is food for an artist, as authentic expression can only come from one's actual experience. This is why when I compose, the piece informs me what it is about (rather than me choosing), as at some point in the composing I recognize the experience or presence that gave me the basis for the expression.

I hope your coming year brings great learning and growth!

Two more shows to go this season (see below)



The physical arts are as deep as any, and this young group of seekers find their expression by throwing their bodies into the abyss, and by controling it totally in spite of the abyss.

There is something so hopeful about their art, and timeless!

Enjoy an excerpt from the documentary
'I Believe I can Fly

Watch them Fly!