Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.
All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.
Those who are waiting for an epiphany to strike may wait forever. The artist simply goes to work, making art, both good and not so good.
I identify strongly with his sentiments. The WORK is important. Just pitching up, every day, and doing the work. Not waiting, not wishing, not employing "if " statements ( you know those ones" IF I had a BFA....IF I had a perfect studio....IF I did not have to look after my kids. IF I had better equipment.....). Just pitch up in the studio and work. Because what you learned yesterday will be built upon today. The disaster and failures will steer the way forward. The successes will stoke the fires of enthusiasm and light the way. You will move forward.
Do things that you learn help you be more successful. For me, I need to sleep well then exercise, play certain music that does not engage my brain actively but helps me get to that state where I can paint intuitively but with intent, not be hungry(!!!) and be prepared to be brave. Let me explain....
I have a latest thing: murder your darlings. It's extreme but it's effective. If I have a painting that has one or two bits that are good( sometimes, more than good) but overall, the painting is not working, I destroy those good passages. I paint over them . Gasp! And when they are painted over, I reassess the painting and go from there with a single thought in my head: BE BRAVE. And you know what, some of my best "new" directions and ideas have come from this practise. And yes, some have been terrible and I have let the paint dry, sanded it back and begun again. Don't let those failures languish against the walls of your studio, taunting you. Seriously. BE BRAVE. Don't think about what you could lose, but what you might gain.
Let me talk about music a bit, quickly. I have a set painting playlist. It changes as I find songs that tap into something that I need to tap into , but mostly it is a set of songs I know very, very well. So well, I can "switch off" from the words but still feel the emotion. I enter a meditative state that helps me focus on the work and the repetitiveness (it's on a loop) lets me paint for as long as I need to without becoming distracted by the end. Shelby Keefe, an american plain air painter actually created her own music on Garageband( the talent of some people!) and sets it for a particular length of time. She knows her painting rhythm and made music to suit her own needs. That's talented! I prefer to borrow from the music I know already. I have yet to "kill" a piece for myself!
So, those are my thoughts. Well, not ALL of them because what would I be able to talk to you about next time?!
Here is some recent work.
|Work in progress|
60 x 80 cm
Oil on board
90 x 60 cm
|Work in progress|
That storm again!