Sunday, 13 January 2013

Artist Tips 2013 : Take Your Time

 Snowdrop Paintings are now  coming to life for my new 2013 collections. While I work I can't help but think about how I have changed as an artist over the years. I think, when we first start painting we are so happy if our work shows recognisable subjects when our paintings are complete.  This is many artists goal and with this end comes a sense of achievement. We go through stages of disappointment when we first start out desperately trying to get good results which often can lead us to racing through each painting. Having to paint everything in one go to the point that if things don't go as planned we can feel let down. All new artists go through this stage.

Compare painting to going on a journey. Imagine you are drving from A to B because if you do, one really can see how taking breaks  or making stops can lead us to successful outcomes. I am married to someone who is fantastic but if we set out on a trip  his mission is to just get there.  We go from A to B and reach our destination. When I drive alone I am often tempted to stop and admire a building or  beautiful sight along the way.  I don't mind how long it takes me to get there as i want to enjoy the journey. Recently I persuaded my husband to stop and  visit a rodeo in Texas when we had left one destination and were making our way to Dallas by road. It was a fantastic day which we both enjoyed. Totally unexpected we saw a live rodeo, as we had made no plans other than just getting to where we were headed. That stop enriched our trip and allowed us both to see something we had genuinely longed to see.

So when you are painting, take breaks. Don't be in a constant race to get to the finish line and enjoy every stage of your work. If you study a half finished painting it will often tell you what you need to know and what is needed in the next brushstrokes. If you race to finish a piece  you may lose sight of the beauty that was there all the time in front of your eyes.

That lovely expression "take time to stop and smell the roses" is so true. Don't miss out by your determination to get somewhere. Enjoy the journey, where ever it leads you and  really indulge in those wonderful spur of the moment suprises which can enrich your life and you art.


Anonymous said...

So truly, Jean. I am learning to come disappointment and focusing on beautifull things coming by the way.

Jean Haines SWA, SFP said...

If we place our focus on all that is wonderful in our art and life positive results will follow. Thank you for replying and I wish you a year ahead full of terrific paintings in many happy hours.

Jeremy Lee (Mun Loong) said...

Thank you Jean for this great reminder. As you awared, I'm recently embarking on this journey., i just managed to paint my first original piece , a potrait of close friend's baby. I then moved on to another friend's dog... Reading your post here put a pause in what i m doing now as i realised i fell into the exact pitfall needing to accomplish another piece enthusiastically and eagerly. The first piece took me 3 weeks, with breaks and rest time in between and needing to report to my 9to5 job routine. Largely also because i'm still exploring the watercolour medium and paper reactions. Often time I'm not sure and is afraid to put down my next brush stroke for fear of spoiling the art work. It was my 2nd attempt over the same piece. ....yes, taking time is the key...ahh! Time for cuppa now..:o)