Saturday, August 2, 2008


This is such a truthful video and perfectly expressed! The old adage, practice, practice, practice comes to mind. I sometimes think there is always going to be some gap between desire and execution. Personally, my expectations for myself continually go up so I never am where I want to be. I find that motivating. I get bored if I can do something easily. I want to be challenged. How exciting to think there is always room for improvement, always new things to accomplish, that life continues to be interesting to the very end. I think it was Monet who said at the time of his death that he was just starting to get the hang of things. Amen!


Anonymous said...

This is great! Just to know that these feelings are common. Thanks for posting this. I feel encouraged...but discouraged because I am 77 and just returned to art after a few years away and just can't get my "mojo" back. Maybe it's the pressure of knowing I may not have much time left.

Myrna said...

I, too, feel the pressure of time but I tell myself I am going to live past 100 (so I have over 30 years left!) and I am doing everything I can to keep healthy and active in mind and body so I will be able to function at 100. Milford Zornes was a wonderful inspiration! We really only have today, so paint your heart out and enjoy every minute of it.

Maggie Metcalf said...

My first thought was champagne taste but a beer budget. After viewing it I agree--keep doing whatever it is you want to excel at. To quote Skip Lawrence "Paint like a rich man". He also had a story re: a watercolor painter who quit waiting for washes to dry because he was 74 and didn't have that much time!
I, too, expect longevity--my dad is 94. I don't want to be one of those folks that has tons of unused paint and paper at the estate sale.

Cecelia said...

I've heard retired teachers say that they just now felt like they knew enough to teach their preferred subject-after years of teaching experience.
And, I've seen so many young people give up their art, that they had once loved, because they suddenly felt. at jr high or high school age, that it wasn't good enough because it was not super photorealistic. Eventually, most of those would take up art in some form again when they were older, but it was usually in some other area such as decorating, photography, crafts, etc.
I had not thought of being discouraged because of my 70 years. I guess I'm like a kid and think I'm going to live forever! I feel like I am almost just getting started, now that I am retired and have the freedom to work, or not, whenever I want. I have time for my own things, now, and can use the things I have been teaching others for so long.
Instead of feeling challenged, I do get discouraged because my work is not what I want it to be. Part of it is financial restrictions. I feel like I have to use every bit of art supplies and make it count. (I'm a perfectionist, too.)
I always wanted to do beautiful realistic portraits and sculptures. Finally, someone told me to quit fighting what is within me and use it.
I taught myself to draw when I was a child by just looking and drawing. When I would get "stuck" on something like an eye from the side or a hand, I would go to the funny papers, the more realistic ones, and practice that feature until I figured it out. Now, as a result, when I am left to my own devices, that cartoon style still comes out. My animals all look like cartoons, and my people sometimes look that way. I can work more realistically, but not as much as I would like.
I've taken so many classes and practiced trying to overcome this. But, my best things are expressionistic, rather than realistic. So that is the direction that I really need to go.
It does get depressing, though, when that is what comes out of me, others do not appreciate what I do.
Lately, I start out thinking I am going to do one thing, and here comes a cartoon of a memory from when I was growing up. I started putting those things down because we didn't have photos of those daily activities, and they seem to be remembered by others, as well. I guess I am a bit conflicted, and have too many things I want to do. Family history, writing, art, etc.
That was an interesting video. I've found that what applies to writing usually also applies to art. I taught art and creative writing, journalism, and English, and was active in both writing and art groups, so I could easily combine or adapt activities and ideas.
Love what Maggie said about art supplies at the estate sale! I always saved stuff so that I would have enough for my classes, and I'm still saving! On a tiny budget or even no budget, we had to use things carefully at school. Every scrap of paper has to count and the same is true for retirement income.

Holly Van Hart said...

Myrna, Awesome video. Well worth the time. Thank you! Holly

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

I liked the video and find all the comments fascinating. Reminds me to keep working at it. What I like is that we're always in a state of learning. And, it's never boring!

Mike said...

There is something in this guy's discussion that sounds like it is out of my own mouth! At any one time we are reaching toward what we visualize as possible . . .and that visualization is always just out of reach of our skills. The skills do catch up, but the visualization skips ahead of us . . .like the burro and carrot. . . it is never quite in our grasp.

All we need do is look back once in a while to see where you have been (that can be very enlightening). Then you can see the growth. In just two years, I can see enormous growth in your work, Myrna!

Just look !! From a humble start in youth to National recognition!! All because you just wouldn't stop doing it and always believed you could reach the carrot.

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