FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS… (take your own sweet time…):
Following in the footsteps of many a great artist: prolific in their early years and becoming more and more thoughtful or adaptive about what to produce in their later years and often taking a very long time to get something done. Though I’m not quite at the stage where I sit cutting out shapes from pieces of painted paper with a pair of scissors and trying to make patterns from them. (Coping with the difficulties of old age and illness in his later years, Matisse turned to “drawing with scissors,” making his famous cut-out artworks).
I was bemoaning the fact that I am taking a very long time to get anything done these days. For some time I think about doing a painting. Perhaps another large painting. I already have some large canvas which has been gathering dust for possibly years. I buy some small canvases to supposedly practice on, which stay in their carrier bag. A few weeks later I consider that I should actually take the small canvases out of the carrier bag and take the wrapping off the pack of canvases. The partly unwrapped pack of canvases sit on a table gathering dust for a few weeks more.
I eventually decide to look in a couple of my sketch books for some ‘inspiration’ and eventually find a drawing I like. A few more days go by, or was it weeks? as the old sketch book sits open on a desk next to the partly unwrapped pack of small canvases.
Eventually I finally take out one small canvas, pick up a pencil and draw the sketch onto it. I might actually take it a few steps further in the next few days? weeks? months? possibly years???
Bemoaning the fact that it took so long to get to this stage… I was gratefully surprised to be told that it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get something done as long as you do start to do something. Nowadays with living in a world where everything is expected to be almost done instantly… it is refreshing to hear the view that it is more than ok to take your own sweet time on doing something.