The number one question that I am asked by both art patrons and art students is “How long does it take you to do a painting?” I always respond with “my entire life.” Everything I have ever learned got me to that moment when I created that piece. It’s simple.
I have created pieces that have literally flown out of me. With the music cranked and a song in my heart, I seriously knew to get out of my own way, not think at all, and just draw and paint. Those moments are simply bliss. Those paintings and those moments are why I’m an artist. And I’m sorry to report, that those moments, so precious and sought after, are fleeting and not my norm.
What is normal and expected, is the journey back to that bliss. And I look forward to that with as much eagerness and desire. For when I can’t figure out a piece, I know that I am learning something new. When I can’t draw a smile with the exactness that I want, I know that frustration needs to be replaced with tenderness. When I get so exasperated and collage over a painting that I gave up on, I know that I am willing to let go and not hold every brush stroke as sacred. Being an artist is about practice, experimenting and effort. Struggle is where I learn. Uncertainty is where I grow.
I encourage all my students to simply just keep working. Get excited and make things! A close friend never judges himself on his last piece but on the last 10 or 20. See your growth with wide eyes. Learn from all aspects of your existence and do not give up no matter how frustrated or humbled. Every artist was first an amateur.
So how long did Time take me to collage, draw and then paint? I started it sometime around 3 years old when I proclaimed I was going to be an artist and I finished it right here.