Today's guest author is artist, Jack Hampton. This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. Find out how you can become a guest author.
To every serious artist, I say - "practice, practice, practice". In the long run, it is worth your time.
As an engineer I am largely left-brained. I would still be one of those pocket protector advocates if my wife had not taken over my wardrobe. As a matter of fact ,my wife Nancy is responsible for leading me to attempt art. I made that leap of faith 5 or so years ago when she invited me to a drawing class "to keep her company".
I have to admit that I was really lousy! But all the while, there were wheels spinning in the background of my consciousness -- because by the third class, I began to think of this new experience as ... "kind of interesting". Today, nearly five years later, I often think back to the night when our instructor, Mr. Bill Cupit, said If you want to be an artist you need to do this every day.
I am happy to report that 5 years later, I am now at my easel just about every day, and every day I feel better about it. I just took a series of private oil painting lessons to learn to paint like the Old Masters. Now I'm really getting serious, and I'm definitely hooked!
Still after hours and hours of practice, the search for excellence keeps me ever moving forward. To just "paint a picture" is no longer enough to satisfy me. My desire is to convey the emotion -- the "something" deeper; perhaps the feelings of the person depicted, or the mood of the landscape. This quest to portray, and thereby communicate emotion in my work has nearly become an obsession.
The process of conveying my thoughts and feelings with paint is a work in progress. I haven't quite reached it yet, but I can feel it working within me. It brings me joy to see myself move daily toward this goal. And
I move forward faster with practice. It is all about practice.
It is about showing up at the easel every day to pursue excellence.
Incidentally,even five years into this artistic journey, I occasionally pull out my dividers to check a proportion, while my wife teases, Still an engineer, aren't you?
She is right, of course, but I am becoming an artist as well.