Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Time, temperament and tenacity

Painting is solitary, absorbing work. I enjoy that.

I've been thinking a lot lately about temperament (that is, mine) and how what you enjoy doing is so tied to it.

I started really thinking about this last year when I read the fantastic book Quiet: the Power of Introverts by Susan Cain and recognised so much of myself in its pages.

Temperamentally, painting is a good match for me. I'm easily engrossed in the solitary pursuit of it, I enjoy labouring over detail, I'm slightly obsessive and I like work that means I get to be inside my own head. The challenge for me sometimes is to come out of the trance. Although, the kids quickly take care of that!

Current work in progress - evolving

The thing about the kind of work I like to do is that it takes time. I don't have a lot of that.

But I watched this great TED talk today about embracing your limitations.

Time is my biggest limitation but instead of thinking about that as a problem (which I admit, I do sometimes), it usually drives me. I force myself to sit down and paint when I get a spare hour here and there. I work with concentrated effort in short spurts...building something bigger over a long period.

Also painting, at least the kind I do, requires patience. Luckily, my kids are pint-sized teachers, delivering me lessons in patience every day. I'm forced to practice it a lot!

As I go deeper into the work, I need to forget about time (or the lack thereof), have faith in the process, practice patience and just keep going.