Friday, July 22, 2011

Reflections on first 5 days of 'A Painting a Day'

I'm grateful for the challenge of producing a painting a day. It forces me to put my art into practice. From what I've read about other artists who exercise this discipline, it is better to work on a small scale. More doable, less consuming.

I do believe in 'Use it or lose it' when it comes to certain skills. Yes, you can regain ground easier after a break if you are well practiced. But, more interestingly, you can gain more skill by applying discipline to talent and persevering.

Have you ever seen somebody who is well practiced at a skill? This is especially visible in prolific knitters and crocheters. One of my mom's friend's comes to mind. She used to watch us kids play, while she whipped out an exquisite, intricate table cloth. Her hands just knew what to do... Unromantic as this sounds, they looked like a crocheting machine.

My sister,Linda, one of my favorite painting heroes is a joy to watch paint. She is so skilled. So deliberate and has such a command of painting knowledge, that I thrill to watch her paint with such decisiveness and authority. Her works are beautiful. Can I say, when I grow up as a painter, I want to be as skilled as my little sister? :-) I'll know I'm advancing when I have greater stroke economy... Maybe all artists hesitate and correct...but some of us do it more than we'd like!

Today I stirred at around 3:45-3:50... Decided not to opt for poor-quality sleep over doing my next painting. I'm so glad I did. It feels good to have accomplished that already. Someone I know has commissioned a portrait of a friend's daughter,who died in a tragic auto accident seven months ago. I would very much like to do it justice because she's gifting it to the girl's mother. Although I have done portraiture, it is more exacting...less forgiving... I may just attempt it in colored pencil, she left the medium up to me. Say a prayer with me that I do it well.

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