"To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first"..
.as Shakespeare tells us in Henry VIII.
or, as my teacher says
"if it were easy, everyone could do it!"
.......and yet still we look for magic pills and easy answers and quick routes...and we are continually seduced by those who say they can give/teach/sell us these things! But, are we on the right track?
Anna Rose Bain, the portrait painter, describes how remarkable is the patience of world class artists when working, that their working habits are often quite methodical rather than being in some kind of astral zone - a transcendent state of mind that it is sometimes suggested we should try to achieve (without chemical help! - but probably by purchasing the latest self help book or set of videos).
A better approach might be to allow oneself patience and care when plying our craft. Instead of panicking when something "isn't working", take the time to ask the right questions: is it the underlying compositional structure? how does it look if I squint at it? why doesn't it communicate any feeling to me?
Interestingly, this last question applies to all art forms.. I was attending a master class the other day...the student played a slow tender piece technically well...but.......
.then the teacher asked someone to come and stand right by the piano and LISTEN very hard, obviously and concentratedly while looking at the pianist..who then replayed the piece really trying to communicate its meaning solely by the way she was playing...and it was much better. She was really trying to "tell" the person not by words but by the music what it meant to her.
Analytically what she did was emphasize certain sections a little more, she increased the contrast - of positive to negative space, of loudness to softness, of legato to staccato, of quick to slow etc...all the things that we have in our fiber repertoire: color, value, shape, space, edges.....these are the same things! We can communicate, if we think, and take our time.
But perhaps (yes there always is a "but perhaps"!), "the Holy Grail is not in the finding, but in the journey"....as Saul Zaentz (and, I think, many others) said.....
Putting those two quotes together, I guess you end up with learning to enjoy the slow pace of climbing the hill for you might never get to the top!!!
If you have been, thanks for reading! And do respond with your thoughts about this wonderful process we enjoy struggling with and struggle to enjoy! Elizabeth