Towards the end of last year, I decided that I wanted to take my art to the next level. I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant, but it didn’t matter because I am the type to figure it out. And I believe that once you start searching, the answers start coming.
Several years ago, I heard Charles Shepard III – the Executive Director of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and most recently, Larry Blovits – Master Pastelist and author of PASTEL for the Serious Beginner, say that if we want to improve as artists, we might employ the practice of listing the topics of what we are good at, and what we need to improve on. I have always thought that this was a good idea. I just never put it into practice. Which is kind of ironic. If you have read my blog A List or Two, you already know that I generally like lists. And then Blovits said something that intrigued me. He took the idea further, saying that if we were truly good at something, we should be able to write a two to three page paper on the topic. Ah, a test! A challenge! It is one thing to think that I am good at something, it is another to be able to prove it.
I think that was the one thing that kept me from making the lists. What if the world thought I was good at something? So what? Did that mean that I knew what I was doing? Was it instinctive that I got it right? Did I really know what I was doing? And now that I have the tool to answer those questions, I look forward to this exercise with the expectation, and anticipation of better paintings to come.