The Laws of Nature

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Making Decisions

Creating a work of art is like running your life: decisions, decisions, decisions! What should I paint? What's the meaning? How can I make the painting unique? What colors should I use? What's the best composition? What size should it be? How many more steps will it take before it's finished? Is it finished? How should I frame it? Where should I exhibit it? What price is realistic? And, so on. These questions consume a great deal of my time, and, collectively, take more time to answer than the actual application of paint to paper or canvas. However, I think that these questions deserve serious consideration and the huge chunk of time it takes to arrive at answers. Some answers arrive quickly because of personal experience. Other answers require research, either in the form of studying the works of others and reading books, or seeking the opinions of experts. I usually combine both methods. The greatest challenge is to be technically excellent AND unique. That's a breakthrough! So, my advice is not to rush. Instead, be deliberate. Allow lots of time for careful consideration. Beware of the fad of creating "a painting a day" just for the sake of volume. If you need to do that to perfect technique, fine .... for awhile. But, at some point we all need to spend the span of time it takes to make good decisions. That's time well spent!


Chris Beck said...

Well put, Katharine!! It's so tempting to rush through things in pursuit of quick results, but sometimes that's not the best course.

Myrna Wacknov said...

Welcome back! Wonderful to have another thought provoking post by you. My daily activity is like practicing scales. The other work has planning involved.

-Don said...

Another great post, Kathy. All of these questions are indeed very consuming of our time. My way to work within these questions and keep a creative flow going is to be working on the design for my next piece(s) as I'm putting my latest one to canvas. I find that when I'm painting, if most of those questions have already been answered for the one on the easel, my mind will start answering those same questions for the ones on the drawing board. How's that for a long-winded comment? I hope it made sense. -Don