“No, I don’t really paint, as much as I used to do, ” was my response the other day.
I wished I’d had a camera to capture all those expressions from my group, right then! You could see a million things running through their minds.
Shock. Say it isn’t so. How is that, possible? But….
It is true. I don’t “paint” anywhere near the amount like I did 10, 20 years ago.
Or even 5-6 years ago.
I was insanely prolific.
I’d get my paints out and think nothing about whacking out 5, 10, 15 images in one sitting.
There could be 100 images in a week.
No, definitely not all of them worked out.
I learned things.
When I step back after a painting day, I think about the numbers, the percentages.
What % of 100 is an acceptable number for me?
I liken it to baseball stats. Or to photography stats, or even … to sales. How many times must I do something before I hit a home run?
Why should I think, to hold myself to an even higher standard, than say, those big hitters …. Babe Ruth – Hank Aaron – Ken Griffey?
It was and is about the process.
Expressing the moods and emotions, that which was within, and externalising it.
And if one of those images was presentable, as a whole, I’d smile. Even if none of them, were fantastic, I’d still smile.
As the process was and is what drives me.
The need to communicate, to externalise, the primary driver. (Most of the time.)
I just enjoy paint, color, the physical act of creating.
Why am I not painting 100 per week now?
I have slowly changed my ideas about art, about what ‘art’ means to me.
What defines art, to me?
Art now means much more than just a paint brush and paints.
And I enjoy art every day. In one form, or another.
Sometimes I go into my garden to pause and reflect on the colors, aromas, the sounds that it brings.
Other times I write. Or photograph, or draw or, doodle.
This. Is art.
I’ve come to think of my art classes, the curriculum and lessons as a form of art in itself as well. It often involves research of new methods and new tools; of the masters that are relevant to the specific group I’m currently teaching.
My work… has become, in a sense another form of art.
A Changed Lane
I could, indeed feel bad or guilty about not painting like I used to.
But I am, still creating.
Looking around the corners for new shapes, subjects, colors, ideas.
I haven’t stopped, nor has this slowed down one bit.
Not at all.
It merely has changed lanes.
I’m Still going in the same direction….
The laneway is slightly different. Thats all.
I think we are quick to judge ourselves many times too harshly, without need.
When asked that question about not painting as much now…. at first, I mentally was judging myself.
But I like to take the time to discover the ‘why’ of a thing.
To dig for the answers.
Because I find in most cases, the root truthful answer, is far less troublesome than the surface answer, the one we assume to be the case.
So even though I’m not putting out 20- 50-100 images a week now; I am still just as active, just as creatively engaged as I have been at any time in the past.
Its good that I took the time to dig.
Finding the answers to nagging ‘background’ questions – sets us free to Create.
Releasing constraints and criticisms, ie negativity that would impinge upon our future creative endeavors.
Art, is funny like that.
Most of us work better, do better, Create better, in a positive, uplifting, and free environment.
Fun and Fast Watercolor Landscape
A Simple Impressionist Landscape created from a positive and free mindspace.
Done directly upon coming in from my Garden sitting. I felt positive, uplifted, liberated….
True, it was on not nice, cartridge paper that soaked in the paint and left marks of the brushstrokes visible.
Unliftable. Permanent marks upon the surface.
But this made it, liberating.
It was either going to work or … not. So why bother to over think it?!
I felt free to do what was needed, to put down, what needed to be expressed.
Faint pale hints of sky, then several strokes of blue for hills and mountains.
Ooops… oh well! hmmmm – boo boos there.
Next, went in some gentler cool browns to serve as a transition area, just dashed in, real quick.
the super fun part.
Splattering warm siennas, moss greens, golden umbers across the stark white foreground.
Now, that was fun.