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20For20 Day 19: Primacy

Life is a series of choices; once made, each choice gets a felt sense of primacy bestowed upon it.

Eric Maisel, The Power of Daily Practice

I schedule my painting time in the mornings, after breakfast and the kids have left for school. This is when I have my best energy during the day. I protect this time; I don't schedule appointments. I don't run errands. I don't check my email. I keep three hours everyday to just working in my painting practice and I am grateful that I can dedicate so much time to it.

I used to think that rest was something that I needed to earn after hard work. But since the pandemic started, I have learned to schedule time for more breaks and more rest. I can't keep waiting for the work to end because when we are home all the time, the work never ends. So now, in addition to my painting practice, I need to make to rest and relax and read and take better care of myself so I have enough fuel to take care of the others later in the day.

For today's practice, I made a drawing of the other half of my photo source. My new process seems to be working well, although I still experienced some challenges with accurately drawing the figures. Instead of rushing through it to get to the painting phase, I enjoy taking my time to draw. I know that the effort that I put in the drawing phase will later reap rewards when I am in the painting phase.

When I see the two drawings together, I am tempted to make a single painting out of both of them. The long thin rectangle reminds me of a frieze that you would see on Ancient Greek or Roman buildings. For now, I'll work on these simultaneously as two paintings and play with using a palette knife as a painting tool.

I also started a new class with Erin Raedeke at the Washington Studio School today and she introduced our class to her way of starting a painting. Instead of starting with a drawing, she starts with blocking in masses of color and value roughly into place onto the canvas. There is a lot of experimenting and scraping and applying thick patches of paint. She is also painting primarily from life by looking at herself in a mirror while she paints. I am excited to try out these new methods next.

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.

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