Monday, September 3, 2012

the importance of intention and how excuses thwart you

pastel, 10x18
This week I had many interesting conversations with other painters and those conversations were to spark that lead to this post.

We all struggle. Each time I come to the canvas or paper I wonder... can I do it again? Or was that last painting just a fluke? That struggle, filled with anxiety and self-doubt, can bring on some very un-useful and darn right negative side effects.

The first I will address is excuse- making.  It is one of the biggest things you do to stop yourself from succeeding. Great talent and hard work are not enough. You have to make choices and give up other things. You have to have priorities and try your very best to live by them. You need to take risks with your work and risks to put yourself out there. They will not come to you.

Excuse-making blends right into risk taking. We make excuses when we don't want to take the risk to succeed. The biggest excuse I hear is "I don't have the time to paint." We will allow anything- doctor's appointment, the dishes, an injury or the dog, to get in the way of our painting time. But there are no excuses. My advice for this one is simple... just schedule it. Just like you go to work, when the scheduled time comes you go in the studio/your workspace no matter what. Do not open the computer. Do not check your phone. Sit and be until work finally starts happening.

I remember, a couple of years ago, when I interviewed Deborah Paris and she said "For five years I woke up and began painting at 4:30 AM, finishing just in time to go to the office. I also painted on the weekend. I sought out drawing groups. In a short time I knew that landscape painting was my muse." (Check out this three part interview for a good read- link here.)

Lack of time IS an excuse. We all have little time, yet we find time to do others things (TV, computer, movies, going out to eat) You have to set your priorities. I am not saying to become a recluse. Instead remember you are always making choices.

There are other excuses- space, materials, money, the buying public, and many more. They go on and on. So what do you do?

 Set your intention and stick with it.


Anonymous said...

A fabulous reminder to us all, Loriann.

Micros said...

How true. . . how true.

On the comment about excuse making, we all can come up with thousands of reasons to fail (because that's what the original intent is) and yet, conversely, we can come up with thousands of reasons to begin and succeed.

Failure. . . it's not all it's cracked up to be.

So what.

If we think that somehow in our progression as an artist, we have kept failure at bay, is as ridiculous as thinking that Raphael, never messed up. Or Michelangelo, Matta, Lam, Picasso. . . etc. The problem is also avoidance. Then again, it all goes back to the core issue. . . fear, which in turn breeds failure.

Make time.

Because our time is so very limited.

And if you think you're going to fail, do so in a grand manner.


loriann signori said...

Hi Maggie and thank you!

Hi Micros- thanks for reading and commenting on my blog. You make some well written good points. Fear mixed with adversity to take risks make terrible unproductive bedfellows. They not only stop you from working, but sometimes even more importantly can stop you from growing and forging new paths. They can keep you doing the same known over and over. That should be another post. cheers!

Kelly M. said...

Loriann -- I was looking around on the many sites I love to visit and just finished reading your thoughts on this posting -- definitely struck a chord with me. I'm finally trying to return to the creative side of life after many months of a new job -- excuse? you bet! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

loriann signori said...

Hi Kelly, Congrats for realizing and taking the next step. Discipline is your biggest ally, not talent. Best wishes!!