What I Learned from 40 Paintings

When opportunity knocks, be ready to work. Every artist dreams of their own exhibit - a chance to show off their work. When that chance arrived for me, 6 months early, I had the challenge of readying 40 paintings - quickly.

First, I panicked. Then I called my mom and a few close friends to tell them how excited I was, then I panicked again. FORTY paintings. I took inventory and realized that I was just 22 paintings short and I had 3 months until showtime.

I decided to go for it. I signed the contract and started painting,

I learned something. You don’t improve in your craft by attending workshops. You improve by painting. I had travelled to learn from some great teachers but the notes were still on the shelf. I wasn’t learning from osmosis. The improvement came from buckling down and painting every day.

I made a list of all those ideas in my head - those photos I had stored in my computer that I was going to paint one day. Now was that day.

The show opens this week and I made the count with a few extra paintings to take back home because there was no more room. It has been a win before one piece has even sold. I learned a valuable lesson by having to paint, and paint and paint. If you want to improve, you have to create and not just read about it or think about it.

Rhodema CargillComment