“Make peace with imperfection”. This is one of the phrases I took away from an online teaching group discussion I attended today. While certainly a true phrase for trying to deliver content in an online teaching environment, especially if the transition has been rapid and without warning like this Spring has been, it hit me how applicable it is in painting. I am notorious for worrying a subject to death and not stopping soon enough, thereby striving for perfection and falling terribly short.
I also know that another phrase that came out of that meeting, “less is more” (remeniscent of Meis logic) is also applicable. Instead of trying to show everything that you are capable of as a painter in one piece, stick to the synthesis, or simple way. It’s exactly what plein aire is all about. In that style you look, judge, synthesize, and quickly capture the impression of what you’re seeing. Small studies in the studio follow the same principle. So while I’m listening and watching a zoom meeting, my mind is jumping to a next lesson on canvas.
Our new normal is a blend of teaching and learning with one job and having that job be embedded in your home environment, complete with all of the new tasks and precautions of the pandemic. When we get groceries they come into the house and get processed in an assembly line of wiping and disinfecting and all fresh produce gets washed in the stainless steel sinks and dried in the drainer.
Timing in learning is part of the integration process. My worlds collided today. If you need subject matter for your paintings, you are literally surrounded by thousands of chances to ply your trade. Today’s painting is the merge of what I learned in my meetings and what we now do in our home work flow.
This piece is an 8 by 10 oil on canvas called, “Quarantine Still-life” (or, now everything gets washed)