Q: If someone said to you, “I’m not talented enough to paint,” what would your response be?
A: My advice would be that like anything else in life, painting is simply a learned skill that to do well takes commitment, a work ethic, focused study, and seeking out the very best help and mentoring.
Certainly there are folks who landed on earth with a bit of natural ability and were able to draw an impressive cat on the blackboard in 3rd grade, but not to worry if you feel you weren’t one of them.
Drawing, like all of the skills necessary for painting, can be learned. With the advent of social media and the ease of publishing and consuming information we are awash in ‘too much’, making it a bit more difficult to find the gems in the rubble.
Commit some time to setting out a program of study for yourself. Carefully curate where you get your instruction and also when and where that teacher, mentor, video or book might fit in to your program so it can most help you.
A bit of up-front effort really is the quickest way from A to B so you don’t waste your time spinning your wheels. I hear people say, “Practice makes perfect”; “Put in those brush miles”; “Do a painting a day!”
I have a different philosophy. That is, be very careful because in fact, Practice Makes Permanent! You want to make sure that you’re studying well, practicing well – with intent and a plan for measured progress.
It’s much better to progress slowly and well than to try to undo poor habits we’ve ‘practiced’ on a hundred paintings!
Try this – commit yourself to six days of study and on the seventh try to apply that knowledge to a small painting. As you go along week to week measure your progress.
And finally, “Nana korobi, ya oki” – Fall down seven times, get up eight! ~Lyn Boyer