Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Way to Happiness

I've been reading Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project". It's an interesting book with a lot of great suggestions to make an ordinary life a little happier. Nothing big, like running away to a different country, but things to help the right here, right now. A couple things she suggests struck me... fostering an atmosphere of growth is important, and to do that you have to try new things. And for that, you really have to get over failing. Failing is productive. I knew that, but still.... it's a tough one. The other thing that she repeats continually is to be who you are... know your likes and dislikes, and be honest about it. You like what you like, and just because you "should" like something doesn't mean that you do. Also a big one for me. I've spent most of my life trying to make other people happy and letting others make my choices for me. Not necessarily ideal, for someone trying to live a creative life.

I can draw. I'm good at drawing. It's easy for me to stick to what I know and have a subject in my paintings, something I can draw and make convincing even if I abstract it a bit. And I like drawing people. I like trying to get their expressions and nuances right, to get their hands just so (I think the hands are almost as important as the face in conveying emotion).

But I've always envied the way some artists can convey a feeling using just shape and colour. I've always loved non-objective art, but my own feeble attempts to produce a non-objective painting have failed miserably. So I've decided to try again. Keeping with the books resolutions to "enjoy the fun of failure" and "don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good", I've signed up for a workshop with an instructor whose work I like. I am going to go do a few pieces, sticking with them until I can get them to work. I'm going to post them here... and even if I can't get them right I'm going to post them here. By the end of November. Really. Even if they suck.