Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Forced To Go The Extra Mile. And Three Reasons Why It's Good For You.


Welcome to the Cooper studio, Jefferson, Iowa.

Several years back, I determined I could/would be a runner. Not marathons, nope, nothing like that. But I do try to go a couple of miles on three or four mornings of each week. Just the other week, Jefferson got yet another bunch of snow. Thankfully, it's March, and considering the city truck/plows got to it right away, the streets dried quickly. Free and clear of snow. Good for the morning run.

I headed out on my normal route, which takes me to the bike trail on the east side of town, my usual halfway point. But wait, what's up with that? The bike trail; snow, ice, and melted/refrozen slush ruts. Everything a person trying to move faster than a crawl DOESN'T want. But here I am at the edge of town. Either I turn back and retrace my steps (how boring is that?) or I continue on. There's a black top road just ahead, and it won't be that much further. And besides, it's good for me, right?

Awesome. Going the extra mile. There's a saying "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy", right? And then there's another "a job worth doing, is a job worth doing well". Now surely there's a lot of maneuvering room in between those two thoughts, but this morning I'm going to promote the concept that sometimes we have to lean harder one way, than the other. The middle of the road is not always the best place to be. The stack of "to do" has surpassed my comfort zone. I can see the extra mile in front of me. But I know the benefits:

1. Makes you work harder

2. It gets you closer to your goal

3. Feelings of a job well done, to the max

See you on the other side. Believe it or not, the warm up is varnishing a guitar, just recently painted, so it can get to the mail. Aah. Life at the Cooper studio. Never a dull moment.

Later, Cooper

Selection And Assumptions


Welcome to the Cooper studio, Jefferson, Iowa, where it is both a stunning and beautiful day. Ahhhh, spring. And I even have a spring painting for you here, in a minute.

First we need to talk about selections. Or assumptions about selections. Or something like that. -

After the youngest Cooper had been away at college long enough to get a firm grip on the realities of laundry, we ended up bequeathed with some of his new "go-to-college"towels. And they were the nicest ones of the bunch, thick and cushy and the epitome of absorbent. Why did we get them? He didn't like them because they took too long in the dryer. Hunh.

Yes, you are at an artist's painting blog and that bit of a story does have relevance. Like this: as artists we are constantly the recipients of well meaning advice. If we paint landscapes, then someone tells us we should be painting abstracts. If we paint abstracts, they tell us we should be painting landscapes. If we paint figures, they tell us we should be painting anything but! :)

We assimilate all that good advice and begin to assume(as in making an assumption) that we know, without a doubt, what it is that art patrons of the world will want to select, when they are out looking for a painting. We let our artistic vision take a road trip down to "I've-been-persuaded-land". Maybe it's just a day trip, and not too much harm done. But what if it turns out to be a major journey and one you shouldn't have let yourself get talked into?

Because in reality, not everybody chooses for the same reason. Are we better off trying to paint what we assume will please everyone, or painting what's right and then working to connect with the people who see things the way we do?

We could say "a rose by any other name is just as sweet" or "one man's trash is another man's treasure" or "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". We could even say "thick and cushy versus quick through the dryer".

It's not a matter of matching your painting to the person; it's a matter of finding the people who match your painting.

Thanks for stopping by.

Later, Cooper

Yup, you are right, I did promise a spring painting:

Ready For Spring, and acrylic painting on a nice little 12 inch canvas, and of course, available in my website portfolio. Click on the red text to get a better look!