Monday, March 31

Are You a Happy Painter?

Happy Beach
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
11 x 14 in/27.9 x 35.6 cm
Copyright 2014
Maybe it's the current Pharrell Williams hit song, "Happy," that got me thinking (and humming along) about happiness and painting.

When my interest in painting led me to pick up a brush again after years away from the canvas, was I:

a) happy
b) nervous
c) excited
d) worried?

Actually, the answer is: e) all of the above.

Anytime we try something new or re-start something from the distant past, there's always that niggling worry about how things will turn out. And being a painter is certainly no exception.

It was the thrill of the chase--the challenge to stretch my abilities in new directions--that made me happy and excited. It was the fear of failure and rejection--the agony of defeat as ABC sports used to call it--that made me nervous and worried.

Painting can be supremely and singularly satisfying if you are happy with the results, but gut-wrenching if you are not.

Therein lies the key. Over and above your natural ability to draw, paint, see values, and mix and render color, is your state of mind. It's how you feel not only when you are painting but also how you feel about yourself as a painter and ultimately the quality of your work.

Being a happy painter is like the line from the hit song: if you know what happiness is to you.

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