Giving time to develop your practice
“The art world loves young men and old women.“ Louise Bourgeois
Women give their art time to develop. Often life gets in the way and full time art practice is put on hold. Perhaps this delay can be a good thing. We learn patience and there is time to develop the practice in a limited or unlimited way, along the way. There is the downside of not fully engaging in the painting and producing work that is depressingly safe and average, which we see so much of.
No rush. In the meantime we are dropping by galleries, reading books on art and philosophy and researching our favourite painters. All these elements feed and inform the painting. We organise a studio space. Then the learned approach of ‘give it time’ works when engaging in the processes of painting on a more regular basis.
When ready to give it full attention, painting and life become one subject, legitimising the practice without need for qualification and literary justification.
What helps make an interesting painting then? You’ve had time to think about it. No rush, once more. Bringing all you have learned over time to the easel, you give it everything. You will because you are so pleased to be at it. Time and patience. These are tools you are familiar with.
As a painting is developed over a period of time you bring the necessary endurance to it, particularly with a medium that’s so unruly. I decided to work with the nature of it a long time ago. It really is a messy business and life threatening health wise too.
A bit like a squirrel that saves and stores food for the future, we gather nuggets along the way and retrieve them when required; ours being stored in brain folders and extracted when necessary. So after many years with a library of interesting stuff handy, there is the potential to produce something that has a depth of content and conviction of form if you’ve been astute enough to process all those elements in an intelligent and creative way. That’s what helps make a painting interesting.
You bring an idea to the painting and then the painting begins to take over. Patient years, patiently pushing paint about. Of learned ways of dealing with how paint pushes you around. It’s a heavenly battle. Weaknesses in the form and content die, and eventually a painting takes shape and the original idea may well have become a distant memory.
The aim is to achieve something that is interesting.
Having faith, not necessarily of a religious nature, helps.