Monday, September 27, 2010

Draw, and for the love of lists!

10 x 14 watercolor

"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

     I am a list junkie. I love making lists. When I was in college I made all kinds of lists for study schedules, classes I wanted to take, books I was reading, things I wanted to do. You name it and I had a list for it.

     I still do this. I make lists for paintings I want to create, color combinations I want to try, books I want to read, chores I need to get done for the day. I even make lists of 'fun' things for me and my family to do during the summer and holidays. And, I make lists of reasons why I should stop making so many lists. 

     Oh man, I've got a problem with making lists.

     And my son does it too! I saw him making a list one day and was so proud. I didn't realize why until my husband pointed out how he was just like me. A little list maker.

     But I will maintain that having a list is a good thing. It helps you focus on things that otherwise would lose your attention. It gives you something to look back on and see how far you've come. It helps you give priority to the things that are most important to you. I love lists.

     Just the other day I wrote a list of things that bring me joy as a mother. I was feeling very overwhelmed with all my responsibilities and constantly pressed for time. I was not feeling the joy that I knew I could in being a stay at home mom.

     It helped me to realize that my life is sweet and good even though it's also sometimes stressful and challenging. I needed to remember that.

     I'm going to do the same thing with my art work and my writing. I'm going to make a list of what I love about the way that I paint. Not the reasons why I love to paint (we talked about that last week, remember?), but a list of the things I love about how I paint.

     I think it will help me feel better about my work when those nagging doubts creep in.

     So, that's my challenge to you for this Motivational Monday. What do you love about the work you do? What is something about your work you're confident that you're good at? Whether it's painting, drawing, writing or photography. Tell me one thing in a comment. I dare you :)

     And yes, I knew you'd ask this. I will share one thing too. But not today, today it's your turn. You'll get to hear mine tomorrow :) See you then!


  1. What an inspiring post Crystal. Yes, I agree when I was a full time mum I simply loved every moment with my children especially as they became toddlers and soaked up every bit of knowledge that you shared with them. As for 'rebellious teenager time' the less said the better!
    As for painting just about everything thrills me - getting out the wonderful colours, choosing them, applying the first mark - Oh I could go on forever.

  2. First off, I agree that accuracy is more important than speed. I like to take my time with projects and have never understood the penchant for getting through something as fast as possible so you can get on to the next thing! I savour the moments as the pencil or charcoal goes onto the paper, the brush onto the canvas (or silk!) I love looking at the palette of colours and imagining how they can be blended. Fabric art is so sensual that I sometimes dream in its textures. Embroidery, shi sha mirror embroidery, quilting, sewing, crocheting, knitting, tatting, silk painting - all bring a sense of deeply felt pleasure that is hard to describe. My son was a delight growing up, although I often felt the need to have my time to he grew older I was able to communicate with him more and he came to appreciate doing things together that were artistic and not rushed. Today he is artistic himself, and a fabulously talented writer that requires immense patience. The times when the "art" isn't going well are vastly overshadowed by the times when it feels in total harmony with the universe (if I may be so corny!).
    And I would be happy to do a scarf for you - personalized to your wishes and for a fabulous discount fee!

  3. What a wonderful painting, Crystal! That is one serious cowboy. You perfectly captured his expression.

    What do I love about the way I paint? That's way harder than "what I did on my summer vacation"!

    I haven't been painting long enough to love my own paintings. I guess I can say that I "like" that I can see my own improvement since I started.

    I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom to three wonderful daughters. Life isn't always easy, but there is lots of joy in seeing them grow up and become women with their own families.

    What you teach your children is character--much more important than what they learn in school. I love the time my daughter told me, "Mom, I heard your words coming out of my mouth!".

  4. Actually I also used to make lists. But not now. I am much more disorganized now.

    About your question.. Well I have not given it a thought til now. But yes sometimes my art looks good. Is that a good enough answer for you? :)

    By the way I completely forgot about the painting. I think have seen it before, but anyway its always a pleasure.

  5. I'm just the same with lists, I list everything... I even have a white board in my hall with my "to do list" on it, sometimes I rub it all out and re-write it just to get myself motivated to knock things off.
    In response to your challenge, the thing I love about my work is the feeling I get when a picture turns out better than I expected and the thing I'm most confident about is my sketching.

  6. Response to Crystal's post:
    1. Wow - he looks like his father : )
    2. The portraits shown in your giveaway banner impress the heck out of me each time I see them!
    3. I am enjoying the structure of your blog that you began a while back. Motivational Mondays are one of my favourites. You are a wonderful cheerleader and you make me smile and give me a boost ; )
    4. I guess I would have to say I enjoy the way I use colour
    5. I live by lists too : )

  7. This is such an incredible painting and a lovely post! I love visiting your site, it's always so full of light and positivity.

  8. What a great post! I am also one to make lists, at least I sometimes am. I often write things on posted notes and have them all over the place...I just need to be better about organizing them and not losing them! To answer your question I think I am good at composition in my photos.

  9. Hey lady,

    Terrific post as usual! Love the painting, it is so much fun and executed beautifully! I love your blog and the fact that you do make Monday truly motivational! I'm not sure if I'm good at it, but I sure enjoy the process of painting. I like deciding what I'm going to paint next, setting up a still life and having a little photo shoot. It's fun and I love doing it!

  10. Love that 'tough' look on his face :) -and the rosy cheeks -precious!

    I am a list maker too --and I loose my lists often too and worry about "what did I forget now that I lost the list' :(

    I am not really confident about my technical abilities in drawing or painting- That is stressful and challenging. The only thing I am confident is that my stubbornness will make me work at something till I feel satisfied one way or other - going back to the piece sometimes months and years later to resolve it :)

  11. I was just thinking how very much like a list your post is.

    What do I love about the work I do.
    1. It's never dull.
    2. It calls to me.
    3. It matters
    4. It will last for a long time.


  12. One of my favorite stories I used to read to my class is Frog and Toad's "The List." I am confident in writing using voice.

  13. Wow, Crystal, you called forth the long comments today. It is a great post. My dad always said about my mom that she had a long list of things on a piece of paper when she was expecting me (her first born) at the end of which it said, "have baby." The list did not survive, so he could not prove it, but I think it might be true! List makers rule!

    The portrait you posted is stupendous. It just glows.

    I love the way my art makes people laugh out loud. I love the bright color. I love the whimsy and that the collage makes you want to keep looking.

    Thanks for asking!

  14. This is my first visit to your blog and I love it! You're art is amazing!

  15. Hmm.. That's a good question! All I can say is that I am glad I am stubborn enough to keep trying even when I am struggling to find something I love about it! When a piece goes well, it makes the struggle so worth while, that the rest doesn't seem to matter.
    Your painting is lovely - I love the colours in this one too. Your children are adorable :0D

  16. Hi, my name is Nancy, and I am a list junkie, too.

    Crystal, girlfriend, you are an excellent portrait painter! Wow!

    What do I love about the work that I do? That it shows I am not a quitter. Every day, I just keep trying to do the best I can. And even if most of my painting looks like crap, there is usually one small part that fuels me and pushes me to get back in the paints again the next day.

  17. you and me both. I make list too. I have three different list on my computer desk now.

  18. I love this painting Crystal, fun subject! The lighting again is fantastic and I wonder if this is one of the things you love about your own work!? Well it should be LOL.
    For me Crystal to answer your question I love my subjects. When I can get their characters across in a painting, that is when Im smiling from ear to ear:)


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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