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Practice Makes Perfect...Pears

At the Robert Burridge workshop I attended last week, Bob talked about HOW he works as much as HOW to paint. I've been quite stubbornly resisting being too focused, but he convinced me of the reason to practice multiple paintings of the same subject. Repetition builds muscle memory.

After I got home from that workshop on Vancouver Island, I was still resisting. Then I had a dream about practicing scales and progressions on the piano. I woke up in the middle of the dream and my fingers were moving to play scales. I realize that to play the 8 notes of a full octave smoothly and rapidly with only 5 fingers....was deeply ingrained in my memory from years of repetition. Then I got it!

Repetition painting on a small piece is a great way to build muscle memory on all the things an artist

needs to do, like

  • plan the use of the space

  • plan the composition

  • work with colors

  • create value contrast

  • define a focal point

  • create interesting brush strokes

I've resisted because I want my work to be "intuitive" but now I realize "intuitive" can also mean "easy because of practice".

Now that I'm convinced, I'll be doing more of these little warmup paintings. Look for them on my Etsy shop.

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