After many months of Saturdays, I finally finished my latest oil painting–and what a great feeling it is! I learned so much doing this painting. For weeks, other artists at the studio had been saying “It looks great. Isn’t it finished?” And they were right; it did look good, but they were also wrong. It was not finished. I would take out the photograph of the house I was featuring in my painting, and there were details yet to be added. Back to the drawing board I would go, adding shrubbery here, a shadow there. Then one week, after staring at this picture for Saturdays on end, I noticed a drain pipe I had not put in. I wondered aloud if it were necessary. My teacher said yes–the building needed it for symmetry. So, I added it in. In doing so, I noticed other shadows I had left out. Those shadows make such a difference.
I tell my students to be specific, to pay attention to details. I’m talking about writing with them, analytical writing, but this applies to all other aspects of our lives doesn’t it? It certainly made a world of difference to my painting. If we stop to see, to truly see, what is around us, I think we’ll all become not only more creative, but more attentive–to our work, ourselves, our friends and family, our world. That is what we need, isn’t it? A world of people who are attentive to what is around them. Instead of walking around with our noses in our phones checking our FB pages, we need to watch the world a bit before we sit down to write, paint, crochet, etc.