Friday, January 14, 2011

Sweating It


Welcome to the Cooper studio, Jefferson, Iowa. Please bear in mind that it's winter in Jefferson this morning. For all you fair weather readers, that means that at 9:27AM it was a snow-crunchy 14 degrees. So why you ask, are we talking about sweating it?

I believe I've mentioned in the past that I try to run (sort of) at least three times a week. Is it my personality type?--who know, but I can not handle even the thought of running (sort of) indoors. Treadmill, forget it. I prefer to go first thing in the morning when I'm not totally awake. With a sleep-fog hanging on, running seems a little less crazy. BUT! Even I have to draw the line somewhere, and at 6:30AM, Jefferson was in the balmy single digits range on the sad old thermometer.

So 9:30AM rolls around, the thermometer shows me 14 degrees, and I determined I could possibly survive it. I did. But here's the funny thing--sweating it! Yup, who'd of thought at 14 degrees with two tee shirts and a hoodie as the layers, I could possibly warm up that much?

Now I suppose you want to hear how this could all possibly relate to painting, right? But of course it does. Think about the commonalities here. It seems pretty logical to me. Look:

1. A schedule. Three times a week, works okay for my "running (ha) career" but I try to paint five days a week. And a schedule is worthless if you don't keep it. Paint on a schedule.

2. Persistence. My husband says mine comes more under the heading of stubbornness. Sometimes the odds seem to be against you. The air temperature for running is abysmal/you painted your best painting ever and it still got juried out, so why keep trying? And here we should enter in my favorite Gretsky quote, "you miss every shot you don't take". Paint with persistence.

3. Prepare to the best of your ability. So, the morning run part of that: is it a two tee-shirt kind of day or a three? Pretty simple preparedness there. But the painting side of the equation is harder. Study, study, study. Either way, some times you have to sweat it. Last night was the first night of this semester's life drawing group on campus at ISU (Iowa State University) Do you get to see the results of my sweating? No. If the garbage guys unroll the wad of paper, they might get to. But revert back to item #2. We meet again next Thursday and I'll be there. Surely it will go better. You can't prosper you art just be wanting. Prepare for it. Study.

And that brings us to:

4. Be an optimist. You can do it. It's possible. Where there's life, there's hope, right? If you can move your feet, you can run. If you can pick up a paint brush, you can paint. True, the quality of your endeavors will depend pretty heavily on how you deal with #1-3, but what's stopping you? Be an optimist.

Oh wait, this is beginning to sound like my last blog post , regarding "cup half full". Hmm, it must be the weather...time to go gain a little sweat equity at the easel. Thanks for stopping by.

Later, Cooper

Oh, and you should click on the red text up there (post) to see my last blog writing over at my website, and the cool new painting that goes with :) The link will take you right there, I promise!