Work inspires inspiration. Keep working. If you succeed, keep working. If you fail, keep working. If you’re interested, keep working. If you’re bored, keep working.
In July this year, I went to the Art Camp that I've been attending for several years now. On the last night we have a walkabout where we put out all of our work from the week and view what we've each been working on. I usually have about 7 paintings that I start, and typically have completed 3. There were a few women there from Louisiana that had done more than 10 paintings! How in the world did they do so many--especially when I saw them headed to the river every afternoon, enjoying Happy Hour, and definitely not painting after dinner??
"Get the Daily Painting book! It will change your life!!"
So I ordered it right away. And they were right, it's changed everything.
I get a LOT of art books, my addiction. And for the most part, once I start reading them, I think, Why did I buy this? There's usually nothing new. It has been so refreshing to find new information, and use it, and find it to be true!
So I started daily painting. I get up at 5:00 a.m. religiously, start a painting and try to finish it in an hour. Then get my family up and going, and go about my day. I teach about 5 classes a week so I don't always find time to paint later in the day, so it's great knowing I've been productive so early in the morning.
(Admittedly, now that it's colder and I have a warm Golden Retriever spooning me, there are days that I choose the cozy bed.)
I've tried for years to go to the gym early in the morning -- can't do it. I've tried to meditate every morning -- can't do it. But getting up to paint? I'm usually up before the alarm goes off. It's so great. And meditative as well. The house is quiet. I tiptoe downstairs to get a cup of coffee, then head up to my nest, and think, What's it going to be today?
I don't usually plan what I'm going to work on, but have plenty of material to look at and be inspired by. In fact I have so much material that I'd never get through all of the ideas in this lifetime. But these small (6"x 6" or 8" x 8") pieces are perfect for experimenting. Check. Done with that idea. And I've only invested an hour or so. If I don't like what I've done, oh well, there's always tomorrow. I'm not married to it.
I'm also trying out different colors, and ways of mixing color. Realizing I don't need half the paint I've bought.
I get so mad at myself sometimes for getting into some painstaking details that seem to take forever. Not here. I'm quicker, more concise, simpler. So my painting has changed. Not that there isn't room for detail, but maybe in a larger piece. Some of these quick and small pieces can actually serve as a study for a larger piece. Or a warm up.
I post them daily, and am getting tons of great feedback. I even had a friend say she was out walking early and saw the light on in my studio, and was eager to see the post.
It's so refreshing to start a healthy new habit and get so much joy from it. And I've got about 100 new paintings.
Here are a few: