Mar 15, 2013

Treescape 12 and the Question of How

I decided to paint 100 treescapes just to learn how to paint the things that are hard to paint about trees and their surroundings. Always I end up with this question: should I move on quickly from one painting to another since this is a learning exercise or should I make finished pieces? Given that the moment the painting gets difficult is the moment I want to move on and that finishing paintings is as practice worthy as painting moss, ferns, leaves and evergreen boughs, I feel like I should relax and try to make nice pieces. The question reminds me of a couple things the Buddhist teacher Cheri Huber always says, it's not what but how and one process does not lead to another. I haven't exactly figured out exactly how to apply this wisdom to my scenario, but I know that being in a hurry or avoiding difficult things while learning how to paint trees will not turn me into a patient and fearless painter of trees. Of course driving myself to be a perfect painter of trees will only turn me into a perfectionist. So whether I choose to make painting or do practice exercises is really not the point. To be patient as I learn, to be devoted to learning, to feel the beauty I want to paint...that would be more the point.

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