Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Perseverence, Today's Word for Artists and Everyone's Life

Ryder's Perseverence Award at School Assembly
 Photographer Liz Sawyer

Having been alerted of a surprise award, I showed up for my grandson's grade school assembly this morning and joined others in celebrating his trait of perseverence. 

When Ryder comes to Grammy's house he knows where his supplies are in my studio and has his mind teeming with ideas to illustrate in unique colors with his own drawing skills. When he starts he doesn't give up until his ideas are expressed. It may take a series of drawing sheets, but he doesn't give up until he has painted what he wanted to say. And he can explain his work well with words, too. 

Ryder is a very bright kindergartener, but it struck me today that perseverence may trump intellectual ability or other individual talents. I'm saluting him for "keeping on keeping on" at his young age because that trait may be invaluable in life. My mother used to say to us three siblings, especially in our adult years, "keep on keeping on".

As an artist that trait of perseverence has kept me moving forward despite obstacles. My artist friends tell their stories of what it has taken for them to "keep on keeping on". I have my own, too, but in this post I will stick with generalities that fit all of us. 

We all "keep on keeping on"
     1) improving our skills (because artists never reach their ultimate "best") 
     2) trying again when a project doesn't work out (why artists work in series sometimes)
     3) dealing with working alone (no one to blame as "rogue low lifes in another office")
     4) focusing our easily distracted energies on what is most important (we're accountable to someone somewhere in the art food chain, aren't we?)
     5) best of all, always getting excited with a new technique, paint color, tool, inspiration (artists are age-less because they're never "bored")


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