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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Building Habits that make Painting Daily Automatic

"Queen of Diamonds"  20 x 20 mixed media on canvas
If your paintings could talk, what would they say?  I think mine would want me to set them free!  They would want me to let loose instead of trying to control every move. We’ve all been taught to think carefully before we make a brush stroke and to know what we’re going to do before it happens. But that creates anxiety doesn’t it? If you’re like me my hand begins to shake and I stress over “getting it right.”

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” Jon Barrie, author of Peter Pan from Jan. 2015 Woman’s Day.

Those doubts tighten your muscles, the flow of paint, and the release of energy that makes your composition exciting. Having a well thought out plan is one thing. Allowing spontaneity to occur and to alter your initial concept is when the “magic” happens.

“A watched pot never boils.” When you keep too tight a reign on every stroke, every composition, or you over analyze your progress, you may miss out on something enchanting and remarkable. Let it happen! Just do it.
"Cafe' Costa Rica" 20 x 20 acrylic on canvas
If your paints could talk, what would they say? Mine would be angry with the disorganized mess, with the damaged caps from using a nut cracker to get them off, and the crimped twisted tubes, etc. A neat freak I’m not! I get so caught up in painting I sometimes forget that a neater pallet and a more organized paint box would actually make my job easier.

Recently I subscribed to Eric Maisel’s “Sunday Newsletter: Emotional Healing”. With my free subscription, Eric had a free gift: “The 97 Best Creativity Tips Ever” by Eric Maisel, 2011 all rights reserved.

I’m going to share with you the first 10 tips on Eric’s list.

1.  Be consistent in showing up. Getting to your creative work only once in a while won’t keep it alive. Make “routine” and “regularity” sacred words!

2.  Who knows how many artists fail because the light that shines through them is refracted in a thousand directions and not concentrated in a single beam? Pick projects and complete them! It is not really possible to work on a thousand things at once.

3.  One of the best ways to help yourself create every day is to craft a starting ritual that you begin to use regularly and routinely. When your ritual becomes habitual you will find yourself moving effortlessly from not creating to creating.

4.  Make the following pledge: “I will do some creative work every day, if only for fifteen or twenty minutes.” Honor your pledge for the next two weeks and spend fourteen consecutive days creating.

5.  Looking for only the perfect time to create? Forget about it! You are always in the middle of something so it is right in the middle of things that your creating must also happen.

6.  Even small amounts of time can be used for creating. Do you make use of fifteen minutes here and twenty minutes there?

7.  Are you good at capturing your own creative thoughts? Or do you let them slip away by telling yourself that they weren’t really all that good or all that important? Stop that! Start right now doing a better job of capturing and recording your ideas.

8.  You must reckon with your own character. Creativity requires curiosity. Are you curious enough? Creativity requires risk-taking. Are you willing to risk? Creativity requires energy. Can you marshal and unleash your energy? Creativity requires patience. Have you cultivated that quality? Turn yourself into the artist you need to be!

9.  Telling our truth can bring us pain and get us into trouble, but worse pain and worse trouble await us if we keep silent. Tell your truth—carefully, artfully, and courageously!

10.  Say yes to your creative work! Avoid maybe like the plague. Maybe is a state that takes you right to the edge of meaninglessness. Maybe plays to your weaknesses, your anxieties, and your doubts. Maybe frustrates you and disappoints you. Avoid the maybe trap!