You know the commercial for that credit card which asks, “What’s in your wallet?” I think I need to co-opt that statement to ask, “What’s on your checklist?” As I learn more I need to constantly change with the times.
I remember a sermon from years ago where the Pastor talked about the spiritual maturity journey. He said if you were an ear of corn and after a couple of weeks you had your first leaf, you would be considered “perfect” right where you were at. However, if he came back and checked on you at 12 weeks and you still only had one leaf then he’d wonder what happened. Did you run into a rock? Did you not get enough water? Too much (or too little) sun?
The same can be said about your mental painting checklist. I used to struggle with focal point and focal area, tangents, and of course who hasn’t struggled with values. Each time I paint I’m learning something new or forgetting that I know what I know. I can go through my past paintings and tell you where I was in the journey.
The other day, rather than trying to keep it all in my bald head – I created a checklist for myself that I’ve attached to my Strada. easel. You can see the ink has already faded and is covered in past paintings. These are the things I’m currently working on. Things to avoid and things to remember. Everyone’s list is different.
And like that ear of corn, I’d like to see my list change as I progress. For example, color has always come easy to me, sometimes almost too easy and I drown the painting’s story by using too much. I feel like Jeremy Clarkson, the presenter on The Grand Tour who yells, “More power!!” in almost every driving situation. I’m beginning to think about how to desaturate the colors in order to tell a better story.
And while changing up the color hasn’t quite made the list yet, at least I’m aware of it. And that’s a start.
What’s on your checklist?