Tuesday, February 26, 2008


This is a painting I did after the workshop in Michigan. It is of my youngest son, Joel, when he was about 5 and in his Halloween costume. This painting was accepted into the California Watercolor Society national show. The workshop in Michigan by Mr. Roycroft was an interesting one. Someone asked him if he learned his painting process from Nita Engle but he ignored the question. He does not give others credit. I try to always give credit whenever I can. I appreciate original ideas and think the owner deserves the credit. Passing on what we learn from others is also very important to keep the flow going. No two people will do anything exactly the same so there is no fear of "copying" in my mind. I am posting an interesting article I found on a blog called Creative Creativity: A Daily Guide To Creativity And New Ideas

Don't Save Your Best Ideas For Later - Creativity Tip
Posted: 20 Feb 2008 10:29 PM CST
There's a concept floating around that each person gets only a limited number of ideas in their lifetime.
Well, maybe no one ever says it out loud, but they treat their own ideas that way.
Instead of using their great ideas as they have them, people squirrel them away and store them on an idea shelf in their heads where they gather dust. And there are only so many ideas you can fit on that shelf, so instead of constantly coming up with new ideas, they just wander over to the dusty mind shelf and look at the great ideas they've never used. Afraid that if they use them, there will be a terrible empty spot on the shelf that will never be filled.
But, we know that's wrong. The truth is that as soon as you use your best idea, you come up with a better idea. Burning through them quickly lets you cycle through ideas at top speed.
Even writing an idea down in a notebook will let you come up with a new idea. It's amazing what clearing your mind of a little clutter will do.
Do a little mind cleaning and act on all the "great ideas" that are sitting on your dusty idea shelf. I promise you, you'll have more great ideas than you can use in your lifetime.
And no one lives forever.
That's probably the best reason for using your best ideas right now!
(you know, death
Top Yourself!

Posted: 24 Feb 2008 02:24 PM CST
This is an extension of the last post, Don't Save Your Best Ideas For Later.
Don't be afraid to top yourself. Once you have successfully created something, your instinct will be to stay safe and only change the formula only slightly when you begin your next project.
Instead, why not top yourself every single time? Why not set your standard for each project so high that while you're working on it you can't possibly conceive of any way to improve upon it. Burn up the concept behind your work so totally that by the end it is curled up exhausted in the corner of your brain.
Of course, this way of working requires an act of faith on your part. It means every time you start work on something you are entering uncharted territory - traveling through the bits of ancient maps that said "here be dragons" or  "end of the world." It requires you to trust that you don't have a limited number of ideas and that you should parcel them out in tiny quantities in everything you do.
The phrase "Jumping the Shark" has made some people afraid to take chances this way. Inherent in its meaning is the idea that once a certain change is made, a concept or artist or actor or writer or series will never be good again. Truthfully, what kills most of these things is an extended lack of change that results in a gradual decline in quality and audience interest followed by a change forced from the outside onto a uninspired artist or team.
Instead of shark jumping, think about "Jump and a net will appear." Take a chance that you might fail because you are unsure about where your heading next. The universe takes care of artists who jump off of creative cliffs without looking. Besides, if it doesn't, you'll land right next to another steep cliff you can jump off of and keep jumping until that net does appear.
Take the artistic champ of topping yourself every single time.
Jump and a net will appear.


Pablo Villicana Lara said...

Hi Myrna! Love your painting! I'm a big fan of children paintings being a Mr. Mom and all.
I've never heard of that concept! UG! Part of being an artist is to do better each time and learn from the mistakes that are inevitable. Not sure I agree, what if you use up all your best ideas in the first month? then what?
It's kind of like the report I read about the heart having a finite amount of beats within your life time! IF that's true, then why excersize and speed up the process? so much for eating healthy and running marathons! he he he

RHCarpenter said...

Love this technique on these portraits, Myrna. Yes, some people hoard ideas, and even hoard information - that means they have something you don't and they are better than you that way! haha I say share it all - spread it around - see how it comes back after it's been through a few dozen minds and imaginations!

Magster said...

I know this painting well- Karen Mason referenced it in her Thursday painting class a few years ago when another student was painting a similar subject.
I've been jumping over the abyss all week--at least I'm only using quarter sheets. Now I'm going to get the mini-post it with 3 different approaches to a painting off the dash of my car so I can play some more.

Nava said...

Can't stop gazing at his eyes - the expression is so compelling!

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