20For20 Day 14: Devotion

Where there is little or no devotion, better bring in the discipline."

Eric Maisel, The Power of Daily Practicei


Being a part of this daily challenge made me realize that my painting practice has never been about love. It is seriously work. It is a tool. It is a skill to be mastered. Adding devotion to my painting practice means bring love and sense of meaning into the work. Why do I spend my time on painting when there are so many other things that I could be doing instead?


I see now that what I love about painting is not the final product, but the process of making the painting. I love the drawing phase. I love mixing and applying paint. I love the texture, the colors, the brushes, the palette knife. But most of all my devotion stems from a love of learning, and applying the ideas I learn about painting to an actual painting.


I seem to have no problem with incurring discipline into my practice, but I need to also remember that I am devoting myself to painting because it is worthy of my time, my energy, and my love.


For today's practice, I cut up a copy of my photograph and collaged it with tape into a grid. I looked for ways to move the figures and their faces to intersections of lines within the grid. According to art history, these intersections are the places where our eyes naturally find most pleasing. I like using this step to help me redesign the photo before I make the drawing because it makes it easier for me to see the relationships 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.