Every morning I take my tea in the garden. Even though I can’t stay outdoors long, with the Texas summer heat, it helps me to clear my head and take a few deep breaths before diving into my crazy schedule. Making peace with my day before it begins is a lot like making peace with each painting. Good or bad, fast or slow, a triumph or a tragedy, it’s taken years for me to learn to part graciously with some pieces, and let them simply be what they were intended to be – practice.
By no means do I endorse walking away from a problem, but you do have to pick your battles. For example, I refuse to talk to the new electronic trashcan the hubby has installed in the kitchen. You’re supposed to say “open can,” and – voila – the lid opens like magic. Alternatively, you can wave your hand over the top and the lid opens. That I can live with. However, each time I walk by, the lid always opens, as if to thumb its sensor at me and say, “Smell me!” Carlos says it’s because I’m not walking by correctly. So, you see, this is a battle I won’t win.
However, if you’re painting at least three times a week, sooner or later you’ll realize there is more ahead to learn, than running in place. Taking the same subject and starting fresh with a new approach is sometimes a better solution than placing the offending painting at the foot of your bed for a year, in an attempt to puzzle out all the problems. And, yes, I am guilty of having done exactly that.
If you’re painting daily, or at least three times a week, in less than a year, your body of work is going to evolve beyond the piece into which you’re investing all your angst. You can paint the same subject again, later in your journey, and it will look vastly different from your original. Walking away and coming back with a clear mind and a different point of view, is the best way to start fresh. And, sometimes, on second approach, we’ve forgotten to be afraid of the subject. Isn’t it funny how we artists give vast amounts of energy to our shortcomings, and call off the party early when we should be celebrating the parts we got exactly right, even if that celebration is just a glass of tea in the garden with your favorite pug and a few bumblebees!
PS – Congratulations to Kate Nicholson, winner of the $100 Dick Blick art supply gift certificate! A million thanks to everyone who entered by leaving a comment on my blog! We have another big giveaway coming your way soon so stay tuned to the blossom blog and share your thoughts right here to be entered – I love hearing from you!
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