Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Habits and Painting

I heard some where that it takes 21 days to form a habit. I have been in the habit of painting one small painting a week since the beginning of September. I cannot imagine at this time doing it every day like Duane Keiser or Julian Merrow-Smith because of my full time teaching position and other peripherals in my life. On the other hand if I am not painting or drawing I feel kind of like I have an itch that needs to be scratched. I am not sure there will every be a sense of balance between painting and life. I seem to paint furiously to the exclusion of everything else or work and focus on family to the exclusion of my painting. I have come to realize that worrying about a painting being perfect is a prescription for paralysis. I just keep painting and some are better then others but I have no chance of making a great painting unless I keep painting. Sounds simple. I think I keep painting because it is such a challenge and never boring. Doing it on a regular basis becomes a kind of meditation.


B.T.Bear Esq. said...

Hi Linda,
I've just this month started trying to a sketch every few days. I draw with coloured pencil and Ive just switched to watercolour pencil. What I'd like to do is pet portraits. SO I'm starting with photo's of cats, mine and other people's.....
as you say you don't get better unless you keep doing it!
The hardest thing for me is not to get discouraged when one "goes wrong". I'm inclined to throw it all down and not try again for another 6 months or more! But i have to fight that inclination.
The thing I keep telling myself, and I don't know if this will help you too, is that, if I were setting out to pass a Maths exam, would I give up when I got the sum wrong, or would I keep trying, keep practicing?
There are no 'bad' paintings, only practice ones. This is what we have to tell ourselves!
Good luck- wish me some too! I don'thave enough yet to put on a blog, but i may do some time....
("Bob"'s mum)

Robin - Erithacus rubecula said...

It is interesting that we refer to "creative disciplines" and until I started to take my writing seriously I had never considered the appropriateness of the word "discipline" - I am sure it is the same thing with painting - you simply have to keep doing it through the inspired and uninspired days - the important thing that took about 40 years to get through my head was that you have to do it to get better. As Julia Cameron said about 20 years ago..."you've got to show up on the page" to do your bit.