To Live and Die with Art

Painting psychology

I’m a painter. I’m not even ashamed to say so. The palette knife is my favorite tool but I do use the brush. I’m not the worst or even in the middle among the millions of artists around the world.

But let’s face it. No matter how good we think we are, there is always someone better at expressing themselves in our chosen area of expression. So the only person you can and should compare yourself to is yourself. That is so easy to say but human nature is irresistible. So the best we can do is to remind ourselves that improvemnt is the real goal, no matter what level you’re at.

It’s not for me to tell you how you should paint, or which style is best. In the following blog spots, I will always swear at you by saying the only thing you SHOULD do is…..PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.

You still here after seeing those words? ALL methods, ideas, techniques and styles always come down to practice. I will try to share my knowledge, some methods, and some ideas, but let’s be honest with ourselves; there’s no magic method. No door, once entered, to greatness. If you don’t spend the time to perfect your art, you will never get anywhere close to satisfaction.

Discipline

Artists don’t have to be driven. They have to be disciplined. Ouch! That applies to me as well. Because of my own family commitments, I have only two mornings a week in which to practice my art at a nearby art clubhouse studio. Yes, I study online but hands-on time is limited. So I try to make the most of it.

Working together on occasion is an asset to any kind of artist. I reccomend it to everyone. Sometimes I sit and chat with one or more of the painters who show up as well. Painting is often a solitary exercise, but rubbing elbows with other artists can invigorate you and inspire you. You can learn a lot by watching or chatting with each other. The only real requirement is to want to continue to grow as an artist. But even on those days, I will force myself to sit for a few minutes and at least journal in my scrapbook.

It’s always great fun to poke around on YouTube, Pintrest,  Google or social platforms for ideas, but it still comes down to breaking out the tools and doing something. I’ve heard it said that it takes 500 paintings to begin to create your own style and be ready to begin to be called a painter. 

I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to unload a handful of paintings but on the whole, I’m still practicing my technique. The less you practice, the longer it takes to become confident in what you do. But the more you work at it, the better you understand what you do. In today’s internet age, we are so blessed with an embarrassment of riches to study. People used to have to art school or university or even college, to be exposed to the wealth of artists we see for free through Google, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

So really my only foundational advice for beginning artists and hobbists, is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. 

Next Blog: The Wonderful World of Painting.