Just Get to the Good Part Already


When I was a kid, there were a variety of creative activities I did outside of drawing and painting, from putting puzzles together to building models. Over time, I realized I had a tendency to want to cut right to the best part of those activities. In puzzles, for example, I only wanted to put together the pieces that were the most visually interesting - the eye of the dinosaur, or the super hero at the center of attention - while neglecting other areas of the scene, such as the buildings or background that just weren't interesting to me. When I built models, I wanted to see how fast I could put them together, testing my patience when the time it took for the glue to dry couldn't keep up with my ability to fit the plastic parts together. I didn't appreciate the sequence of events or the ritual of activities necessary to start off right in the first place.

In a word, I’m impatient.

Recently, I realized I took a similar approach to painting. This could be okay if I approached my work in a more improvisational style, but it doesn't necessarily serve me very well in trying to construct paintings through the layered, deliberate approach I've developed over the years. Through practice and mindfulness, I’ve learned how to enjoy every aspect of the process, from setting up the paint to cleaning the brushes. I think finding the joy in every part is largely because even seemingly minor parts support the bigger ones, augmenting the whole.