Friday, April 9, 2010

Don't Think, Paint

18 x 14 Oil on Canvas
Sunset on the Ranch

So how do you do something your not good at? I am currently working on creating some paintings for an upcoming show that I would like to submit to a jury, but they want landscapes. Not my strong suit. It is a great opportunity so I really want to submit some work, what's an artist to do? As I was struggling with this quandary, I was reading a post from my good friend Wendy ( life coach extraordinaire) and the answer appeared. I love when that happens. With Wendy's permission, I have included a portion of her post:

Ever since Nick was small, getting his ideas down on paper has been a tremendous struggle. He'd spend hours on homework that involved any form of writing. Over the years, his teachers have tried all kinds of creative ideas, from allowing him to hand in assignments that were taperecorded rather than written, allowing his dad or I to write down his assignments for him, etc. Even as recently as last year, when he was in grade 9, his English teacher recommended he get remedial help for his writing skills.

Fast-forward to last night - Parent-Teacher interviews. My husband and I haven't even sat down in our chairs when Nick's history teacher starts gushing about what an outstanding writer he is, how he gets his written work done so quickly, how interesting his writing is to read, etc. Everything she is saying is the complete opposite of what we've been hearing for 10 years. His mark in the class is an astonishing 97%! I'm not much for getting choked up, but I was holding back the tears. We couldn't have been more surprised. 
Later, I asked Nick how he did it. He said, "The trick is that I just can't think about what I'm writing. If I try to think, it takes a long time. If I don't think and just write, its easy."
Isn't that great?  So I decided to take young master Nick's strategy and apply it to my landscape, the above painting is the result. I am happy with it, considering that I never do landscapes.  Imagine how we could apply this to other areas of our lives.


  1. Out of the mouths of children often comes great wisdom and here it was for sure. I know exactly what he is saying when faced with a blank canvas best not to think too long. Love the landscape.

  2. This landscape is great! I love the way the center cow is looking back...makes me wonder what's bak there. And, the way the barn, etc fade into the background shows great perspective. I look forward to more landscapes!

  3. Just beautiful Amy!!! I'll send to mom and dad so they can see. They always love seeing scenes from their home. I should go and paint there myself!! Yes, I agree, more landscapes indeed. You are just holding yourself back with your words. You actions show you are great at it! Also love the advice from your blog - hopefully that will get me back in the studio and off the computer!

  4. Hey Deb, I love that this scene is from a real live ranch with real live cows, in Texas no doubt. Thanks Mom and Dad Smith. Hope you are happily painting in your studio.

  5. Amy, This is wonderful! Beautiful painting! I also love your advice, Don't think, paint!