About Joy

Why Joy is so important

In this case: joy in painting

Why joy is so important in the process of painting

Several times during art class I tell my students how important it is to have fun in what they’re doing. I thought I could elaborate on this a bit.
Often, and this doesn’t only occurs with those who start painting, people who paint find a moment where they sense that they are stuck.
This can happen because of not understanding the technique, blocked by trying to much to understand what it is that they are painting or by being convinced that they just can’t do it. It is true, and I would be the last one to say it’s not, that getting a decent sense of technique, knowledge on material and to know at least the basics on what paint and medium does while working with it, is inevitable for learning the art of painting. With everything you wish to achieve there comes a time you will have to be in the learning seat to fill your self with any given and available knowledge on what it is that you want to achive.
And overcoming that feeling of being stuck, being blocked is one of them and it is rather easy to do.

Painting should be a joy. The whole process should fill you with happiness, joy. How many times did you experienced this feeling that you completely lost track of time, forgot where you are or who you are and was absorbed by the process of painting?
And how many times did you experience that you where blocked? Couldn’t get what you wanted, seemingly having totally lost the ‘touch’ in painting that the best thing would be to throw that painting out? Both are magical moments that with a paradoxale twist are entwined together.

But how do you get yourself (back) in that zone of enjoying the whole process?
For one thing by focussing on the process only. Not on what it has to become. Not on how detailed it has to be and not on how many more layers, time and effort it needs before it’s perfect.
No! You will get there anyway. Don’t rush yourself by focussing on the irrelevant stuff. Focus on what gives the most pleasure, the most joy: In this case Painting!!

This is with all things in life.
I know that when you are learning it might feel that this natural state of being in the flow and enjoying the fact that you don’t have to think about what the best approach is for this particular subject you want to paint, is hard to reach. But it isn’t. It isn’t your knowledge that will give you joy. It isn’t the experience that will give you joy. It is your own mindset that makes you choose.
So choose to focus only on the process of painting. And this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to study hard to gain the appropiate know how, this means that this process includes the studies you make to learn, to make something your own or to understand matter. All those things should be done with the joy of the process.
It is the same with drawing an object. Once you try to interpretate the object as something you can understand logically you will start to make weird mistakes. But once you let this interpretation go and just look, you will amaze yourself by drawing exactly what you see.
So go out there and have fun! Enjoy whatever it is you’re doing!

Really…!!! Do it!!

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