On Productive Patience | Studio Journal

FullSizeRender 14I’m starting to overwhelm myself with writing fancy blog posts again. This is what kept me from starting my blog for so long. I’ve got to fight that because if I don’t have a lot of time to spend on it, but I expect every blog post to be special, I’ll just stop writing.

So I’m jotting down some thoughts while watching Bob Ross talk about painting your happy little clouds in layers. He says “Don’t get greedy or paint in a hurry. Just one at a time.” Welcome to my eternal struggle as an artist.

I’ve been reading a book called “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking” and am learning a lot about how normal some of my quirks are. I’ve always considered myself an introvert but lately (as in the past five years) I’ve been also identifying as an extrovert. I’m somewhere in the middle I guess.

The tendency for me to rush ahead on something in my painting-the thing that Bob Ross warns against-is most likely an extrovert quality and a desire to be more stimulated by finishing faster. Yet my love for the solitude and just being inside my head that’s required to make my art is an introvert quality. See how conflicted I am? We aren’t robots so it makes sense that we’re all a mix of different levels of personalities. And even though I tend to rush ahead when I shouldn’t, I can fight against that urge and be more self-controlled.

Identifying the struggle and saying it out loud or writing it out loud helps me acknowledge the habit so I can work on changing it. So here you go: I struggle with patience when painting something difficult or tedious (which is all of it right now). I get really restless and if I can just push through and find a rhythm, I love all of it.

Waiting in between layers on a watercolor painting is super important. It’s crucial to let layers dry, otherwise you end up with muddy colors because everything is so wet. I’ve learned that the hard way way too many times. So because it’s key to a good painting to let your layers dry, and that drives me crazy, I came up with a strategy.

The strategy I use for not rushing ahead is to work on several paintings at once. It’s even easier if the paintings have similar color palettes so you don’t have to mix a million different colors. This is fun because in the time it takes to finish one, you can rotate through three or four and have several done at once. I can’t stand to be bored or restless so this is a perfect solution. It’s called productive patience.

Thanks for reading some of my messy thoughts. 🙂

Time to go paint!


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