Saturday, August 28, 2010

It’s not the amount of work, it’s the amount of time at the easel

Kerry Daley
Watercolour on Paper 23cm x20cm

Artists work, they don’t just think about it. Vincent Van Gogh produced more than 2000 pieces of work in the last ten years of his life. He said, 
“If I were to think of and dwell on disastrous possibilities, I could do nothing. I throw myself headlong into my work.” 
Don’t think about the work, just do the work! We think too much, we try to hard. We need to give ourselves permission to make work that may not be good.

We don’t have to make a lot of work, but we do need to spend a lot of time working. Make quantity the goal. Make it measurable. ‘I will paint for one hour each day’ – It’s a start, it’s something I can measure, something I can achieve, something I can tick off on my list of things to do today. 

Alyson B Stanfield at Art Biz Blog, gives excellent advice to artists about the business of art making – read what she says about devoting yourself to your studio practise.

Don’t think about the end product. It gives us an excuse to stop – “this work is not good, this painting is not going well, I can tell that it will be a mess. It would be better for me to leave it now and start something else. No gallery will ever look at this rubbish.” The best way to get work done is to focus on doing the work and doing a lot of it consistently. 

The issue is not whether the work is good, it’s whether there is any work at all. Every bit of work is like a little tick next to your name, good little budding artist, you did it, well done.

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