Thursday, February 23, 2012

Having a Plan

I don't have a plan!  I know, I know!  Do you??  January starts with such good intentions.  All the books roll out to organize and plan your year.  Exercise equipment is everywhere.  Gym memberships are on special!  All the blogs I read had ideas for the new year.  I even bought a book about the business side of art with all the plans you could ever want!  I admit, I was tempted to put one in place.  But I know myself better than that.  Why set myself up, I asked?  Now, it's almost March. Are you still doing what you set out to do? Have you followed the plan?

I believe the adage "fail to plan, plan to fail", so I guess I do plan, loosely.  I plan my compositions.  But when I paint, I like to be open to the painting to tell me where to go with it. Sometimes it's better than anything I had planned. 

 I think you have to have a set destination to really chart a direct course and follow it.  But I'm more of a stroller.  I like to dally in the green meadow or stop and look up to watch the bird in her nest.  I have an idea where I'm headed, but it's less about getting there and more about the pleasant diversions along the way. For me.

Not everyone is built this way.  You may need a schedule and timeline to get things accomplished or you feel uncomfortable.  I feel uncomfortable and restrained with rigid deadlines.  I have them and I meet them.  But I don't thrive on them.  I think we are bent one way or the other. Which way do you lean?  And while deadlines and destinations keep things moving forward in the world we live in, we need balance. 

I say embrace it!  Don't fight it.  This world needs all kinds.  Those who are strollers keep those uptight deadline makers from taking themselves to seriously and the planners keep us from driving off the road into the ditch while we watch the scenery!  It's a win win thing if you ask me. 

The painting above is the beginning of a self portrait I started this week with my portrait group.  I can see myself beginning to emerge in a cloudy haze.  (yes, it's very flawed and needs work, as do I!)  That's how portrait painting works for me.  And I love it and the thrill of seeing the likeness (hopefully) emerge.  Over the years I've wanted to focus more on my portraiture (among other things!!) so I joined a group that paints once a week.  So here's the balance.  I do it once a week  (plan/structure) but do it in a way that I find relaxing and with fun people (loose/strolling).  I think that's a balanced win-win plan! 

Over the next few weeks my plan is to show you a few ways to use your sketchbook for fun and not just to work out your values or compositions.  And I'm trying to get back to blogging weekly.  Thanks for reading.  Now go create something! 

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