Saturday, January 17, 2009
Sargent: Sweat and Success
Recently I was studying up on John Singer Sargent. He was the artist of the month for my newsletter (sign up for the monthly newsletter here.) He was born on January 12.
I'm sure that I had read about how prolific he was before...but it's rather hard to imagine what over 900 oils, 2000 watercolors, and countless sketches means. So I looked at an average Sargent month...to achieve the above during 1877-1925 Sargent produced over 18 oil paintings, 42 watercolors, and scores of sketches every month for 48 years.
Now, I have monthly goals, but they just aren't even close to that! In fact, for my yearly goals, I decided on 100 sketches and 50 paintings...about a typical Sargent month.
Of course, Sargent wasn't typical. What worked for him wouldn't work for everyone. However, you don't need to be as prolific as Sargent to meet your goals. In your hour of sweat, you should remember this...Sargent considered Madame X his best work. He also struggled desperately with it...even though typical and average don't describe him...hard work, struggle, and perseverance did. Sometimes, hard work, struggle and perseverance lead to great things.