I stuck the end of my brush right through the center of the canvas.

smile-create-repeat-stab-canvas-with-paintbrush

I stuck the end of my brush right through the center of the canvas. It felt so good. And freeing.

Author Malcolm Gladwell says, in his book Outliers, that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. That works out to about 4 hours a day, every day, for almost 7 years. With that in mind we must practice –a lot. If we are painting or drawing that much we are going to have a lot of bad finished art. But if we learned something from a “bad” painting then is it bad? I actually have a sign in my studio that asks this very question.

Painting-Casey-Baugh-Workshop-by-Tony-Luongo

Most paintings are for learning. They will not be finished pieces. Many years ago, I took a portrait workshop with Casey Baugh. I was going in thinking I would a have a sell-able frame-able piece when I left. One of the first things he said was “don’t think you are going to have a sell-able frame-able piece when you leave”. That was freeing. It took all the pressure off of me and opened my mind to just learn.

When you’re painting try to focus on getting better and enjoying the journey of making art. If you do this consistently great art will happen from your hard work. Part of this process is realizing  when a painting is no longer fun, and you’ve come back to it time after time with fresh eyes, sometimes it is time to get rid of it.

Tony Luongo1 Comment