Art is not a race! I often find myself reminding my students of this truth all too often. Usually because a few of them believe they started out too late, or had been derailed by a life commitment unrelated to art, and now they felt anxious about picking up the brush again. As if there wasn’t enough time remaining on the clock to become the kind of artist they wanted to be.
Well, I’d say, we could look at what we do as a race – if we choose to do so. But then we’d miss out on a lot of the joy to be found in discovering we are better at painting now than we were back then.
I like to hike with a lot of different kind of folks. Up into the mountains and down many trails. We’ll get off into the brush and before I realize, I find myself lagging behind. Not because I’m tired, or burning out, or unfit. Because I stumble across something I want to get a better look at and I pause to take it in. The others in my crew may be out for some rigorous exercise or want to make good time. Me? Not so much. I’m out there to ramble around and discover what is, in fact out there. So it seems like a good idea to slow down and enjoy the view.
I think this is true for the artist’s journey as well. There is no finish line. Just the going.