How Long Did it Take You to Paint That?

People often ask me how long it takes to paint something. My mentor, Mary Tudor, always answered that question by how many years old she was at the time.  “All art is autobiographical,” she would say.

There is truth to that for sure. As with any artist, what you create at the time is not only what you are experiencing in the moment, but is also an expression of an accumulation of life experiences. The way I see the time factor is that the art takes as long as it takes. Sometimes it pours out of me, sometimes it’s a struggle to get it just right. What really matters is not how long it takes, but rather knowing when to stop . . . to ‘get’ that it is done and put the brush down.

Knowing when to stop comes with practice. The validation of that sense of completion comes when I look at the painting the next day and a feel satisfied with what I am looking at.  Then I know it’s time to put up the next blank canvas and get going!

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