Whether I’m working as an artist or any other aspect of life, I value continual learning and growth. You are both growing and going forward or you are coasting, and you can only coast downhill. It’s easier said than done because most of us are so focused on current achievements that we become satisfied.
Every time I stand in front of a blank canvas, I wrestle with the tension of painting to have a completed piece versus painting to stretch, learn and grow. “High Country Blue” is an 8×16″ oil on canvas that is fresh off the easel. There are several things in the composition that I tried that I knew would stretch me. I also knew that it might not work. Fortunately, after finishing the piece I felt it worked well.
The reality is the fear of failure is often the thing that keeps us from continuing to learn and grow, in every area of life. As an artist, I recognize that failure, at its worst, is the price of a canvas, the price of my paint and a few hours of my time. I also know that even in failing to achieve what I’m working towards, I still grow and learn. No matter the area of life you are working to grow in, the necessary ingredient is the same: commitment.
A Little Preparation
To continue to grow and learn, to live your life as the masterpiece you are created to be, you have to be willing to invest time. Don’t get so busy making a living that you miss out on making a life. You need to do what you can, when you can, with what you have. I would love to be able to set aside enough time to complete every painting I begin from start to finish in one sitting. However, I have learned that there are some days that my time is very broken up. The key for success is to be prepared. I have set up my studio in such a way that I can walk in at a moment’s notice and paint.
Growth just takes a little preparation. Have books and magazines at the ready wherever you go. This will allow you to make the most of your down time. Henry Ford said, “It’s been my observation that most successful people get ahead during the time other people waste.”
what you can do today to grow and learn. Your day will never be a failure when you get to the end and are able to look back and see where you have grown!