Wednesday, February 12, 2014

the happiness quotient

I wish someone had told me a long time ago that happiness is not the gauge by which I measure my success.

By now I should know better, but I still expect painting to make me happy. And if, as the hours tick by, I am not happy about what I'm doing, I become unreasonably grumpy and start looking for something to blame.

I have a hard time letting things stay in an undefined, in-between state. I start most mornings with the sole motivation of pushing the paint into shapes and strokes that make me feel satisfied, finished. Happy

Usually what I end up doing, though, is a lot of fumbling and hair pulling. Wondering what to do next. Wondering why things never come out the way I plan.

I want to say, yeah this turned out ok, but you should see what I meant to do. 

I came across this quote, by Dr. Spock of all people: "The trouble with happiness is that it can't be sought directly. It is only a precious by-product of other worthwhile activities."

I need to revise my entire approach to painting: it's all experimentation, it's all practice, and any finished piece that comes out of that is a happy accident. 


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