Sunday, June 30, 2013

Watercolor Painting, One Day At A Time

This is one of my favorite paintings and I did it when I was just messing around with a new idea

I think I may have made a break through in one of the challenges my students tell me they have. No, sadly, I haven't found a cure for cancer, (I majored in Art at UCLA not medicine, since science wasn't my strongest subject). The challenge is, my students say, they can't find the time to paint.
Here is my theory that led to my breakthrough: not finding the time is resistance to painting. Resistance means you probably could find or make the time to paint but something inside of you resists.  I suffer from it myself at times. I think it comes from the pressure society puts on us to be "perfect." We compare our work to work done by artists who have been painting for many years. When was the last time you heard someone say, I am working on developing my painting skills. We have lost the concept of developing skills, at least in relation to painting and drawing. So, we don't paint because we don't want to face the fact that our painting will be less then perfect. BUT, when you are learning a skill, your first attempts are usually clumsy and imperfect until you practice enough.
One of my most successful painting students was a tennis player who was willing to practice painting, she compared it to doing tennis drills. Hitting the ball over and over until she hit it correctly.
So my BREAKTHROUGH strategy is to lower you expectations for your paintings and paint one day at a time. Here is this week's Daily Attitudes to guide you.
Messy Monday-get out your paints and just paint. Don't be afraid to mess up your painting.
Trash it Tuesday-Do your painting with the attitude that when you are finished you are going to throw it in the trash. Since Tuesday isthe day my Art Skool  lesson is sometimes posted you can use trash that.
What If Wednesday-as you paint, ask yourself, what if? Like what if I painted the sky pink? What if I mixed red with green?
Try it Thursday-try something different. Change up, what you usually paint or the way you paint.
F*ck it Friday-Just get mad, say it doesn't matter, and just paint with abandon
Sandbox Saturday-Paint with the attitude of a child, you have no expectations, you just enjoy making marks on paper.
Use Your Art Supply Surplus Sunday-open up your art supply closet and pick out something you bought and haven't used. Now open it and use it and remember there isn't one correct way to use those supplies. Explore different ways of using the material.
So, what do you think of my idea of painting with attitude one day at a time?
I am making a journal so you can keep a record of your painting days and see what happens because I have read, people who write things down in a journal, do more painting. It will be available to purchase on this blog later this week.
AND, you don't have to paint every day, just pick one or two days this week and paint with a new attitude and
Let me know how it works for you, please.


Cathy Holtom said...

Ha ha I've done all of those! It's important to just keep painting and learning by your mstakes. Love the colourful wellies.

Polly Birchall said...

Love this post. Am printing off the days of the week and will challenge myself sometime. I suffer from lateral displacement you see, when I see that piece of white paper, I'll phone a friend, make a cuppa etc before I am able to start. So I will sod it for a week (well I do most of the times anyway really, I'm not serious enough about my art at times) Absolutely love the wellies!

Katherine Thomas said...

Yay! This is a wonderful inspirational post! I remember a line from the movie Superman where he told somebody, "If you continue to defend your limitations, you get to keep them."
And I always remember my high school band director telling me, "There are NO good excuses." I used to tell my own students that too.
Thanks for a great post! Those are "boots", though, and very charming and artfully composed. Love your work!