“Just finish 100 paintings”. That was an admonition to me from an art teacher over 40 years ago. His point was that you learn how to paint by not simply studying it, but by actually doing it. As I found out, artmaking and problem solving go hand in hand. Of course, my teacher was correct. To finish an artwork, means to resolve it. My personal benchmark for this is that there is nothing about the piece that bothers me or feels incomplete.
As time goes on, our tool box grows. Techniques are learned, materials are explored, and our ability to critique our own work improves. This helps to focus more on intention. That is, what we would like to express to the world.
For me, Daily Practice is a continuation of this concept. I’m reminded of the Tortoise and the Hare fable. Through slow, but steady application, our goals can be reached. For an artist, that means finishing an artwork to resolution, and communicating a message or a feeling to the viewer.
Over the decades, my work has changed many times. But these changes did not come out of thin air. Each change was born and nurtured by the work that came before it. When asked how long an artwork took to complete, I tell the inquirer my age.
So, I continue my Daily Practice. Remembering that the objective is not the destination, but the journey.