I finished this painting this weekend. I started it several months ago. I probably paint once a week, some times more. This watercolor has been painted maybe twelve sessions. I really emphasize to my students to take your time and let things dry. What was different about this piece was that unlike most of my other ones, from the first time my brush touched the paper I liked what I saw. I usually struggle with a painting and I often don’t like it until it is done, or as it is done. Sometimes things just get overworked so I will paint the subject again, hopefully with a freshness. Paintings seem to come easier after a struggle. Struggle always has worth. It is how we grow as artists, it is how we move forward in life. For me, as a believer, it is an essential ingredient needed to move into what is next. God has a way of taking struggle or what people call tests and using them to mature us if we don’t give up.
I tell my students it is OK to struggle. It is the willingness to walk through the learning process, not liking what we see, but keeping at it until it is done that allows us to make better art. My motto is creativity is messy. People often ask me what that means. This is what it means.