Sunday, May 6, 2012

Putting In The Hours

I just got my copy of Daniella Woolf's new book, The Encaustic Studio, published by Interweave.  It is a gorgeous book, full of techniques and ideas, and a very thorough introduction to encaustic material, safety, and practices.  I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get started in this exciting medium.  Plus, it comes with a DVD (brilliant move, Interweave!), so you can see Daniella demonstrate the processes.

Daniella's insightful chapter on Studio Practices and Creativity inspires me to recommend the book to any artist struggling with the Inner Critic, the Inner Perfectionist, the Inner Procrastinator, in short, any artist at all!  One passage that really hit home for me is her section on "putting in the hours":
There is something that happens in our bodies when we put in the hours.  Confidence appears, fear lifts, and we have a sense of empowerment... One day the process becomes easy and natural, and you'll wonder why it was so hard at first.

Don't be discouraged if your initial efforts don't match your vision.  Keep making art consistently; put in the hours and don't worry about the outcome.  Do what's necessary to make room in your life for time in the studio.

I wouldn't say that making art ever becomes easy, but your relationship with the struggle becomes less of an obstacle.  The Inner Critic can more easily be told to take a hike.  Picking up the paint brush or making a quick sketch becomes natural.  Being in the process and not worrying about the outcome becomes easier.  Making bad art becomes just part of the process, not some "failure".  And making art that you like happens more often.

4 comments:

  1. i agree that this book is wonderful....i just purchased it the other day and i love it....and the dvd.....so easy to listen to and follow...

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  2. Jane, I love the way you say "Being in the process and not worrying about the outcome becomes easier." As I do these art lessons with you, I realize more and more that the process is much more important than the product. With each piece I learn something ... whether I'm pleased with the outcome or not. One of the major lessons I've learned from you is to keep doing it ... your feedback "now do more" ... is a valuable lesson. Thank you.

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  3. I just got mine as well. Haven't had much time yet to explore, but I can tell it's going to be a terrific resource. Thanks for recommending it. I can't get enough of telling that Inner Critic to take a hike! And I'm finding that the small pieces I'm working on for your Sketchbook Practice class are just right for asserting independence from the inner scold. It is definitely true - every act of courage builds confidence (or at least teaches a lesson!)

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  4. Jane.. I just got this book and just started reading it. So far, I am loving it. My issue is I need to be consistent and get in my studio. Working full-time is a challenge. But, I know when I'm up there for hours, I am so happy and free. Thank you for this post.

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