Artist | Teacher | Coach | Mentor

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Weekly Blog on creativity and what it takes to be an artist by David Limrite (artist, teacher, mentor & coach)



Let's face it, 90% of the time painting or creating in any medium can be downright difficult. Mistakes can be plentiful. Attempts go fruitless. Ideas don't work out like we had planned. Our talent and techniques seem to fail us.

However, when it is all working, there is no better feeling. When we are in the groove, the fun can't be stopped. You can't help but think about your current painting day and night. You can't wait to get back out into your studio to work. And once you are there, time flies, and you never want to leave. You are having fun.

So, when we are having fun, painting seems easy and effortless. When we are not having fun, nothing goes right and we can't wait to get out of the studio.

Fun 10% of the time? No fun 90% of the time? That can't be right! How can that be?

I can't explain why this is, other than to remind you that painting is indeed a truly difficult activity. It is hard work, for sure! Most professional baseball players strike out at least 50% of the time they come to the plate. If not more. But when they hit a home run it is magical. Most famous artists really only created a few masterpieces during their lifetime.

So, how do we, as artists, keep going day after day after day if we are really only in the groove and having fun 10% of the time?

Passion, attitude, process and curiosity. That's how.

The trick is to find ways to have fun and enjoy painting even when it is not going well and you are not having any fun.

Passion: You were born to paint. It's in your blood. It's the only thing you really care about. You feel as if you would die if you couldn't paint. It is your salvation. It is your life. It is your passion.

Attitude: If you are passionate about your art, then this one is easy. A positive attitude. It doesn't matter if the painting is going well or not. You love to paint, regardless. Positive attitudes lead to positive outcomes and valuable lessons learned.

Process: You love the act of putting paint on canvas. mixing colors, blending them, scrubbing them, etc. You love the physical activity. You love the touch, taste and smell of painting. It doesn't matter what you are painting or how well you are painting. You are painting! Period! You get to paint. Be thankful.

Curiosity: What if? What if I mix those two colors together? What if I change the background color to various shades of red? What if I work faster, larger, looser or more abstract? And so on…. An artist without curiosity is not an artist (happy or otherwise).

The next time a painting session is not going so well and you are just not having any fun, remind yourself about your passion for painting, check your attitude, focus on process and explore your curiosity. By focusing on these instead of the difficulty you are having and the lack of fun you are having, you can take a dismal painting session and turn it around into a fun-filled activity full of passion, positivity, process and curiosity.







Here's the guide you need to help you answer the age-old question: When is a piece finished?