Published in Nanaimo Magazine & Voyager Magazine - July 2015
Thomas Edison said "Success is ten percent inspiration, ninety percent perspiration." This certainly rings true in the creation of a successful painting. The inspiration to paint a landscape or still life always comes first for me. Then the trick is how to sustain that inspiration through the painting process or the work of painting. After all, a finished painting is called an Art Work.
My inspiration comes from the natural environment. It may be as simple as a brightly colored flower; the ethereal quality of a winter mist caught in the trees on a foggy day; or a spectacular show of color reflecting in a tide pool at sunset. Inspiration drives my desire to learn and apply my painting skills to best interpret what I am seeing and feeling, to the viewer. Whether painting on location, en plein air, or in my studio, I frequently remind myself of what specifically caught my attention to begin with. Staying focused on what moved me, helps me stay consistent with what I want to say about my subject.
We live in an age of instant everything. I am always amazed by how high our expectations are. Many of us often expect to achieve success in nearly everything we do without the corresponding knowledge, skill, or practice. It is said: "It takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in any field." While success is dependent on a variety of factors, practice obviously plays a major role. An overnight success usually takes about fifteen years of practice.
So it's back to the drawing board or should I say my easel! I better get busy on that ninety percent perspiration. I've also heard "The harder you work, the luckier you get." I'm planning to practice painting a lot and be very lucky indeed!