Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Art as Discipline

Ever thought of art as discipline? Seems to me there are several ways to think about it:
  • daily painting - e.g. daily painters, the discipline of producing every day
  • refined cross hatching - e.g in architectural work, this sort of work just exudes carefulness and thoughtfulness
  • repeated series - e.g. Monet and the lilies, constantly returning to a subject to mine it's depths more, again the discipline to constantly press forward with a repeated theme
In the general public, artists are not considered a disciplined bunch. However, anyone picking up an art instruction book and glancing through it will read that success requires "practice, practice, practice." And anyone looking to make a business with art learns that they need to work hard on both the business and art ends of it.

Have you noticed art bringing discipline into your life? I certainly have. I was recently talking with someone wanting to find time around work and family life to write and publish research. I mentioned to them that I started the year trying to find 15 minutes a day (1.5 hours a week) to sketch with. As I began trying to do that, I found that I loved drawing to the point that I almost need to do it for at least 15 minutes a day. This created a drive in me to get all household chores done in the most efficient manner possible, so as to add to the sketching time. Now, my artwork gets more like 6-8 hours a week - almost without me noticing - because I wasn't focussed on just being disciplined, but rather on maximizing something I wanted (art time.)

Has art brought discipline to your life in some way?

Thanks to OzonaLori on WetCanvas for the reference "Mom at 85" from which the above quick sketch came from.


Kasie @ ~The Art of Life~ said...

What a beautiful sketch! You say it is just a quick sketch? Wow!
I completely understand what you are saying. I read a comment by an artist somewhere who was upset at people telling him that he was talented or saying "I could never do that." This artist said something like "People don't realize that I've been practicing for years. It is work."
I'm like you; the more art that I do, the more I want to do it! It becomes a need.

Jeanette said...

I have to agree, this is lovely. You've captured the age and grace of the woman wonderfully well.

I constantly tell my students that there is no talent in art, simply want, need and practice.

Rose Welty said...

Thanks ladies for the encouragement! Kasie, it was maybe an hour, maybe a little less.

There are times when I think of sketching as "doing my scales", almost like an instrument. Those are the times when I just grab the first appealing photo from an image library and have a go for half an hour. :-)

Valerie Jones said...

Beautiful! There's nothing as a quick sketch in my book!

Art is more of a need for me than a discipline....there are many days I have to discipline myself to draw though because the house rules. :(

Darla said...

Oh yes, I have definite days and times to draw or else my 'creative brain' takes over and flits from this to that and I won't get any drawing done --- and I HAVE to draw or I will go nuts.