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Should every painting, when the first brush stroke applies paint to a canvas, be considered as a potential “masterpiece”? If that were so, I would never paint another picture! The technical measures, the rules of instructors, the critiques that follow, the inevitable comparisons with the levels of master artists, the very individual strokes made, and the questionable outcome of the finished painting, would be so overwhelming to me that joy could hardly be involved in the activity of creation.
Sometimes I realize that a painting is forming in my mind (or in a dream), but I never bother to wonder from where or how the idea comes to mind. I simply make selections and choices of media, colors, format, and style or technique I want to use, then I begin using the selected tools without fear or anxiety of getting off or away from that formed idea that was in my mind. I simply prepare to enjoy some time doing something that makes me happy. And often, I’m happy with the result of my endeavors at a fun activity.
Other times, I just have a desire to paint. No ideas in mind…so, I begin without hesitation, to apply paint to canvas, paper, wood, whatever…and I let a picture, seemingly, form itself. Maybe I like the finished product, maybe not. The success lies within me where joy is felt. If I enjoyed the activity, it was successful. That experience is lived out in many phases of our lives. The movies and TV shows we choose to watch, vacations we choose to take, jobs we choose to do, or are assigned to do, friends we make….any choices we make in our daily lives could be good or not so good.
I think we all need to create something, and often, no matter what ages we are. Even those of us who are not in the best of health physically, mentally, or emotionally have needs to create. Sharing a creation with others can be great in contributing to happiness (subject for a later blog). I never return to look at one of my earlier paintings without a feeling of joy coming over me for a moment. Even if I remember someone’s derogatory remark about a painting, I am pleased that that person made the time to look at it , and that he/she had interest enough to be a critic.