I always enjoy coming up with new ways to think about painting and art. The process of creating a painting or any kind of art can become stressful or even a burden after a while. So, When you change your perspective, you’re able approach your art from a different angle to make it fun and new again.
Art can be highly competitive when it comes to applying for jobs, getting into galleries, selling your art, or even finding commissions. Painting and art competitions were actually part of the Olympics from 1912 to 1948 and Most towns and cities nowadays hold Plein air painting competitions every year. Not only are you competing against others, but more importantly you are competing against yourself. The only way to improve your paintings and excel at competing in these competitions is to train and refine your skills. Don’t get too caught up in the competition mindset though, just simply do your best with each piece you create.
Think about any skill you’ve ever acquired in your life - big ones being learning to read and write. To hone in these skills took a lot of practice over many years. It’s no different with art. Many artists, especially beginners, don’t have the mindset that painting is a sport, so after they attempt one painting – they give up and claim that they can’t do it, But If you have no experience or knowledge of color theory, composition, drawing and other things – how can you honestly expect to create a masterpiece on your first or even hundredth try. It most likely won’t happen.
I don’t think there exists one athlete that only trained for an hour and then went on to be successful in their field and beat their competition. So we have to keep this in mind when we fail and understand that each failure is another step of our training to becoming better at what we do.
Even once you do learn all the aspects of painting and what goes into it, mistakes will be made and you’ll most likely get discouraged but learning from these mistakes will help most in the long run.
Physical & Mental
Even though painting isn’t very physical like other sports, it can definitely take a toll on your patience, mind and body. Creating a painting takes hundreds, if not thousands of decisions, this can put a lot of stress on you - especially if all those decisions lead to an undesirable result. I recently started playing chess as a hobby and I found many similarities between painting and chess - both taking a lot of brain power and focus to fully understand with years of dedication and determination in order to master. This is why daily, or at least weekly practice, is necessary for improvement and reaching your goals.
Find your weaknesses and start training and practicing a few times a week - Over the course of a few months, you’ll start to see a difference. Thinking of your work in all of these ways will be beneficial to your long-term success as an artist.
What are some ways you think about your work to make it easier or more fun?