Wednesday, February 9, 2011


This is the daughter of a friend of mine, just a head study. I won't tell you how many hours I painted on this little thing.
I always thought that once I was painting instead of drawing, I'd be whipping out paintings so fast! I have tried to time myself, to be done with "this much" by "this time," or to threaten myself that if it's not done on time, I have to stop anyway.
One day my husband, the Voice of Reason, said, "Why are you trying to paint so fast? You don't do anything else fast. Why try to do the thing you love the most fast?"
As I've studied with more people, I've discovered that all the fast painting that other artists are doing is mostly in my head! The people whose work I really love paint very slowly and carefully. 
I think there's a difference between a painting that's done quickly and a painting that's done briefly. A brief painting is one in which every stroke is carefully laid to convey as much information as possible. This is not easy to do well. What I was doing was looking at brief paintings and assuming that they were achieved quickly, so of course I expected to get faster and faster with experience.
I'm settled in now though to the idea that painting is a process to be savored and enjoyed, so don't ask me how long it took me to paint this. It took most of my life! But I really enjoyed it.


  1. Kim, she looks like a very sweet, beautiful girl. I would imagine she's very happy with this portrait! And thanks for letting us in on your struggles to paint faster - I've often wondered about that, looking at other artists' work...'How did they paint that so quickly?!' I don't know if I will ever be a 'fast' painter. I seem to enjoy the time I spend at it, not thinking about the time at all!

  2. I lose track of time, too :-) but now I don't get mad at myself! She is a very sweet and beautiful girl, thank you and thanks for your thoughtful comment.