Watercolor is a very unforgiving medium, and sometimes I have a bad week or am grouchy and tired and simply feel too pooped to make anything beautiful.
But since my job requires me to be continually creative and produce pretty paintings on a daily basis, there really isn't much room for negativity. Also, babies pulling on your arm while you paint doesn't help.
Last week I made this really terrible painting (above). I ended the week with two paintings: this family portrait that needed completely redone and a house portrait needing major corrections. It was very discouraging to me!
I literally make hundreds of paintings every year, and yet when one painting goes wrong, I'm not sure why I immediately throw myself under the bus. But I do! I just kept thinking, "Painting people is so hard! Will I ever be good at it??"
After church on Sunday while Seth stayed late for a meeting, I put Josie down for a nap and came out to the studio, feeling eager and refreshed. I set my timer and told myself to draw and paint as quickly as possible. To start completely over and draw this family as if there were no pressure or stress in my life.
If there's one thing I've learned from years of painting almost daily, it's that stress stifles creativity. Happy people make happy paintings that make you feel good just looking at them.
Anyways, the shift in my mentality seemed to make all the difference. I love how the final painting turned out (the one on the right in the photo above). I can just feel the stress in my shoulders when I look at that rough start on the left. Yikes!
All this to say, I have two new resolutions this year. First, I'd like to time myself each time I paint a portrait and get 50% faster by the end of the year. Second, I'd like to practice painting people daily, if possible, in my sketchbook by drawing one person a day (or at least several a week) including children.
What about you? Do you have any New Year's resolutions this year? Do you even make resolutions?