Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What time is it?

 Into the Forest
Acrylic on canvas

Light Through the Leaves
Acrylic on canvas

"Totally agree. Painting is a cumulative learning and doing experience. I've been asked the question about how long it took me to paint something and I usually reply with my age. The latest painting took me 52 years. In real time it may have taken me just a day or two but it took the years of experience in painting to be able to accomplish that in just a day or two."   

The above paragraph was my response to this blog post that I saw on Google+. How long did it take you to paint that? I've been asked that question many times. For a long time I didn't know what to say. I don't usually keep track of the time I spend at the easel on individual pieces. It's a little different than punching a time clock when you work a "regular" job. For me, painting is a calling. You might even consider it a religious experience if you're so inclined. It's kind of hard to put minutes and hours on that experience. Painting as a career is a mix of hard work, long hours, wearing many different hats, and spiritual experience. Giving such a reply as my age may seem to be rude to some people, but it's the most honest answer I can give. Creating art takes many past experiences building upon new experiences. Every painting we paint teaches us something new. If we challenge ourselves as we should then we continuously learn from what we create. These experiences then continue to inform our new creations. What appears to be a simple landscape didn't just happen with taking one or two art classes. A lot of life experience went into that canvas. A successful painting that looks simple may actually be incredibly complex and time intensive in it's building.

Hopefully, what I'm doing now will lead to better work down the road - work that takes 53, 54..... 60 or more years to paint.

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