20For20 Day 13: Discipline

When I think of discipline, I think of sharpening a skill over a long period of time. My family taught me to value hard work and consistent effort. If math is difficult, you can overcome it through practice and discipline. Therefore if you fail at math, it's because you lack the discipline to work hard for it.

But when it comes to my painting practice, instead of the forced discipline from my parents' expectations, the discipline has to come from within me. I must be willing to create and maintain discipline within my painting practice.

What seems to work is to commit to at least 20 minutes everyday to my painting practice. I usually work for much longer than 20 minutes, but telling myself that I need only 20 minutes is enough to spur me to keep my committment. I also want to try working on more than one painting at a time, but for only 20 minutes. I think it will help keep me focused and fresh, and prevent me from getting stuck over unnecessary details.

For today's painting practice, I worked on thumbnail sketches from this backlit family group photo.

I'm going to break up this photo into two paintings. I'm interested in how to paint a back-lit photo and I like the interesting shapes formed by the shadows and the negative spaces between the figures.

As part of #20For20ArtChallenge2022, I am reading from The Power of Daily Practice: How Creative and Performing Artists (and Everyone Else) Can Finally Meet Their Goals by Eric Maisel, PhD. Part I of the book covers 20 Elements of Practice. In this blog post series 20For20, I write about one Element every day and reflect on how to incorporate the Element into my daily painting practice.