Thursday, May 17, 2012

Always Striving - sold

'Always Striving' - Lauralee
6" x 6" watercolor - sold

When I first started painting portraits a lot of my painting time was spent thinking. What colors to use, how much water should be on the paper and on my brush, what shape did I see, etc. etc.

It was exhausting. Painting then wasn't really a stress reliever, but a stress inducer. Now painting a portrait is very stress relieving, because I don't have to think as much. I've painted faces so many times that it seems almost instinctual for me. Sometimes I think that if I closed my eyes my hand would still know where to place my brush.

Or maybe it's just that I've stopped noticing how hard I'm actually thinking while I'm painting. I've grown accustomed to it, it's just part of the process. 

Maybe it's like learning to drive a car that way. In the beginning all you can think about is all the rules you need to follow and all the steps it takes to actually make the car go: turn key in ignition, check rear view mirror, put car in reverse, don't hit the car behind you, check rear view mirror, place hands at ten and two on the steering wheel, step on the gas just a little, check rear view mirror, don't hit the car behind you, step on the gas, DON'T HIT THE CAR BEHIND YOU, etc. etc.

Stress inducing right? 

Once you learn how to drive it's actually kind of pleasant to go for a ride in the car, driving around the borders of glassy lakes and fields of green grass full of fat and glossy animals. You are so used to following the rules that you've stopped having to think about it so much and you can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

But sometimes we feel so safe in our routines that we stop reaching, striving, growing. We're comfortable where we're at and trying something new, learning a new set of rules to follow, sounds about as fun as a double root canal with no anesthetic.

But still. . . that feeling of stepping outside of what's comfortable is exactly what we need sometimes. Striving for new levels of growth is the only thing that will compel us to create our finest work.

 It's in us, just waiting to be let out, but we won't be alert to what it is, won't be able to hear its whisper if we've stopped worrying about hitting the car behind us.

Huzzah!!

Felt like it was about time for another Motivational Monday post, albeit on a Thursday. :)




24 comments:

  1. Even by your standards, Crystal, this is exceptional, congratulations seem in order, and 25 Huzzahs' ... make it 30 and forget the extra expense.

    Of course when your learning you are using the 'core' of the brain, gradually the 'skills' you have learnt are passed to the periphery of the brain - and feel automatic. It's practice and practise that makes it happen.

    Stroke victims often lose the peripheral functions and skills have to be relearned at the core again ...am I getting boring? or ... am I getting boring!

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    1. Why thank you very much John! That is high praise coming from you, thank you. :) And yes it is all about the practice! And no you are never, ever boring! I love your thoughts. :)

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  2. Oh Crystal, how beautiful LauraLee is. That perfect skin tone and sparkle in her eyes are SO incredible!!! Another wonderful portrait...I love it!!!

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    1. Why thank you so much Hilda! That means a lot. :))

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  3. This is a wonderful portrait, and a nice change for you (it seems to me) in that it is an adult, a mature person, and you have captured a real personality here. Masterfully painted. And btw, don't forget also,
    "don't hit the car in front of you either!" :-) It's possible to be so concentrating on what's behind you that you shoot forward too fast.

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  4. A wonderful portrait, Crsytal, bravo!

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  5. And of course, a double bravo for your no word verification!

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  6. Beautiful portrait and congrats on the sell. Love the eyes!

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  7. This is such an encouraging post. Seeing as this is only my third year of painting it's good to know that things will continue to become second nature :-) Working in abstracts though has given me a great liberty to just have at it, until, until something decent makes it's way onto my canvas!

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  8. stunning crystal! amazing work.

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  9. What you have mentioned is really so true! Its takes a bit of courage but the fruits are sweet :)
    t?he portrait is done beautifully. Her gaze at the heavens perhaps is a sign of her willingness to strive cintinually. Perhaps this is a self portrait in a way ! :)

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  10. I can't wait to learn how to drive confidently! :) Thanks for the inspiration. Every time a see a new painting, it makes me want to practice more! Beautiful work, as usual!

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  11. Hi, Crystal,
    I really agree with you. I work by instinct and joy.
    Cheers,Sadami

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  12. It was a motivational Friday for me. I really enjoyed this post.
    While looking at the painting I was wondering how in the world you paint those eyes. I can even feel the moistness of the surface of the eye. You are special.

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  13. I started out planning to comment on the uniqueness of the portrait, with angle of the face looking up so expressively, but NOW I want to comment on your words! What you wrote about stepping out of the comfort zone and striving to grow in new ways... it just warms my heart to hear, and motivates me to keep doing just that!

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  14. How about a 'Thought provoking Thursday' then? What a great post! And you are so right, it is so much fun to try new things some times. And once in a while we can really surprise ourselves. I LOVE this painting! I love her slightly worried expression, the tilt of her head, those eyes... You could read so much in to this. Is she glancing up at the clock from her desk, a little nervous about her dinner date with a handsome man tonight? Or has she been caught out on Facebook by her boss? Lol! That's what is so great about it - It reads us a story too :0)

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  15. motivate away-love your Friday thoughts and ...you just got pinned!

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  16. Thinking can kill paintings. It's like when you learn to serve the ball at tennis, stand this way, hold the racket this way, lean into it--and you think and you do and your ball duds into the net. Same with painting. Intuition is the best, but it does take some courting (pun I think LOL). Gorgeous portrait--all of them are.

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  17. Thank you, Crystal. I always love [and need] your motivational posts. This portrait is superb!!! And I am amazed you do so much in a small format. BIG HUZZAHS to you! :)

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  18. Stunning, even by your standards. ;-)

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  19. Grand painting and oh so true words :) I wondered aloud on my recent post about trying to get things right and tearing the paper in the process by vigorous erasing!!! Some day I hope to have the comfort level with painting that you are talking about :)

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  20. Crystal, to me she is looking up thinking "OK Lord, what now?" Just the feeling it evokes in me today. Maybe because that's how I'm feeling? Who knows?

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  21. This is just fabulous! I love everything about it...the cropping, the expression on her face. And those fabulous skin tones!

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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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