As most of my Twitch followers know, I teach monthly paintalongs (“paint-along”).
Usually we do watercolor because that has been the most requested. But recently I’ve had lots of requests for oil and other mediums as well.
So this past Saturday I did my first oil paintalong! However the tech demons had other plans, and they crashed my computer - TWICE.
Therefore the live paintalong was destroyed, and I had to record it offline.
While doing this recording, I realized how most of the time while I’m painting live, I am using it as an exercise to practice a certain technique. I very rarely set out to achieve something beautiful or totally “finished.” That got me thinking about how easily I get caught in the “practice for the sake of practicing” spiral and end up with nothing but massive piles of studies.
What’s the point? I have like a handful of truly finished pieces that I’m proud of from this year. The rest were stepping stones.
When I really stop and think about it, the point is purely the joy of painting. Mixing color, creating texture, watching a new world unfold on the canvas is magical. It brings out my inner curiosity and wonder.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you find yourself in the same boat - in an endless sea of practice paintings, don’t worry. Just remember why you do it in the first place.
Regardless of the results, find joy the process.