Macrocosm, 10 x 10″ acrylic on illustration board
“Artists are notorious for spending more time ‘producing’ paintings and spending little or no time ‘practicing’. “
– Tom Lynch
I will admit it – I am very bad about practicing anything. Making art is no exception. So I am one of the “notorious” members of the non-practicing art crowd mentioned above. Are you also?
I don’t know why this is. I know that practicing specific techniques or subjects would probably produce better results. But I can’t bring myself to do it. I can’t even be bothered to spend 5 minutes doing a value sketch, much less a full study. Nor can I bear to spend any of my precious, too-little time I dedicated to art working on something that has no chance of being a finished masterpiece because it is just practice. Not that many, if any, or my efforts become finished masterpieces anyway!
This character flaw is very evident in my piano playing – once I reach a stage where I can stumble through a piece in a recognizable fashion, I move on to the next piece. I would much rather learn something new and be less than skilled at it than be a master of one or two pieces.
I prefer to learn by doing rather than practicing. It is probably not as efficient but more fun for me! Maybe it means I’m not serious enough about developing into a better artist.
Have you found for yourself the right balance of practicing and producing?