Thursday, September 23, 2010
The story of Monet painting the lilypads on his pond a zillion times is a great big, fabulous example of why we should all repeat doing things over and over. Usually by about the eight millionth repeat, we finally get it. Athletes talk about their muscles having “ memory”. If they repeat a motion enough times, the muscles will automatically remember how to do something, usually pretty darn well too. If I’m so smart that I know I should repeat things over and over to move towards getting them right, then why am I always looking for new subjects for my paintings? Shouldn’t I be re-painting the same subjects another hundred times? By 99, I’ll be pretty good at it, won’t I? The problem is, it’s boring to re-do stuff over and over. People seem to like and need change. We choose new routes to drive to the same old places just to keep ourselves amused, alive and alert. Not even a dog must like getting the same dang dinner every night. We like variety.
This is the second time I’ve painted this subject. It’s standing at the top of Dave’s driveway looking across the valley at the hills above Winthrop, Washington. It’s so incredibly pretty there. It was not boring to paint this a second time and I actually think it’s better than the first piece. So tell me, why don’t I do this every time?