Sketchbook Tour No. 10. 12”x 9”, acrylic, gesso, charcoal, graphite and ball point pen on paper. © 2019 David Limrite
“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
It’s OK not to know.
When I was a young art student, I was obsessed with the library at the private art school that I was fortunate enough to be able to attend. And, they had a great library. I felt as if I had to know everything about every artist that I was influenced by. At one point, I was spending more time in the library studying artists than I was spending time at the easel painting.
Unfortunately, it got so bad that my art took a nose dive. I was trying to paint like all of my artist heroes. Instead of painting like me.
My paintings did not look like me anymore. I had lost my creative voice and style.
Fortunately, of me, not only did this school have a great library, they had great teachers too. They had teachers who cared. One teacher in particular, who I had a love/hate relationship with, and yet greatly admired, saw what was happening and banned me from the library for an entire semester.
What the what??
He, of course, knew that in order for me to become an artist, I had to put in the time painting. And learn how to paint. Like me.
Well… Even though staying out of the library was very difficult for me, it did force me to spend a lot more time practicing my painting. A lot more. I gradually started to paint more like me, and get my voice back.
As I look back on this period of time, I now think that I was using the library and my quest for knowledge as both a procrastination device, and as a way to hide from my fear of actually having to put brush to canvas. And, of having to engage in the very difficult and scary task of learning how to paint. And, risking failure.
Sometimes not knowing is OK.