Hello Fellow Painters (and Photographers)
You have heard me grumble here about being uninspired or not having time to paint (Ad Nauseum). On further reflection that is not the reason... After all I have time to complain about not painting right?? So what is it then? I love to paint and it inspires me. So what gets in my way?
Well I searched the dark corners of my artistic soul... Don't worry friends I am not about to slice my ear of for art... or any reason. What I found is I put too much pressure on myself to make a masterpiece in the 60 minutes I have given myself to paint this week. I really have to get over myself. The best painters in the world fail as often as they succeed. So why should I feel driven to create a finished masterpiece every time I pick up a brush? Who knows. I do know it can be crippling. Thank goodness I don't take this approach to the rest of my life or I'd never get anything done. So what did I do you ask??
I changed (Not exactly lowered) my expectations. First I reminded myself that I started painting because it is fun and I enjoy it. Next I realized I am painting for me and if I need to make a messy, muddy, wreck of painting because my mind is processing stuff from other areas of my life and I cant commit 100% of my focus to painting that is my prerogative. Painting makes me feel good so I should do it just for the sake of doing it. Art as therapy is a fine thing and not to be discounted.
Having said all that I still want my painting time to be productive. After all if it is not I could be working on my blogs, cooking, brewing etc etc. So what do i do? Well.... I give myself a break and paint a subject I know well and have had success with before. How do i keep this fresh you ask? Good question. I always find a I need thank you cards for plenty of reasons so I paint thank yous. Strathmore makes a line of watercolor cards and envelopes in a 5x7 size. This gives me a chance to knock out several in an hour. It keeps my supply of thank yous stocked and gives me a chance to explore a familiar subject in different ways. This is great! I get the satisfaction of painting, my time is not "wasted"
The examples at left are of Highland Light on Cape Cod. It is one of my favorite subjects. Now I have painted. I feel good about what I did and I have an idea about how to go about painting it the next time I am ready to work on a larger version of it.
What are your little tricks to keep you painting and enjoying what you are doing?