In the moment

16 x 20
I'm still digesting the information that I gleaned from Alex Kanevsky's masterclass workshop last winter.  How great is that?

Something that he reiterated many times was that an artist should never place paint unless he or she has a clear intention (even if that intention only extends to the next mark), and is totally engaged and interested.

These sound like self-evident instructions, but it's amazing how often I catch myself just filling up canvas in order to get to the edge.  I'm not committed or fascinated; I'm just "blocking in the background" or "modelling the forms".  And sometimes I'm thinking about other things while I do it, or chatting to a friend on my headset, or listening to an audio book.  As every aspiring Buddhist or meditator knows: it's not easy being present.

So in this painting I worked at being present and focused throughout the entire piece.  If I found myself uninterested in developing a certain area, or unsure of how to proceed, I stopped and moved to another passage.  If I became unfocused or tired, I stopped immediately and took a break.  What I found was that I enjoyed every minute of the painting, and was interested and engaged throughout. It was both a more tiring, and more rewarding way to approach a painting.

Kanevsky said that if you're bored while you paint an area, your viewers will be equally bored when they look at that area.  I'll have to post that on the easel.

Happy painting!