Monday Motivator: Persist

Art motivational quote“If you persist instead of giving up, then comes the one moment at which there is a chance of going forward a little. And not only do you have the impression of going forward a little, but sometimes you suddenly have the impression — even if it is only an illusion — of a tremendous opening.”
— Giacometti

Quoted in Master Artists: Giacometti by Yves Bonnefoy

It can, undoubtedly, be hard to keep at it. I don’t always, and sometimes when I do things go from bad to worse. I tend to persist for a bit (a “bit” being anywhere between 10 minutes and a few hours), then put it aside for another day. For a time when I’m able to think of something specific to do with it or willing to let go of what I’ve already done and be dramatic or willing to be more patient with it. Some of the paintings I’ve been most pleased with had frustrating starts. (The converse applies too.)

How do you keep at it? You just do, in the knowledge it’s a marathon not a sprint. The memory of those times when suddenly you know what a painting wants, or you inadvertently do it, provides the motivation when you’re struggling uphill. Persistence creates endurance; endurance enables persistence.

4 Replies to “Monday Motivator: Persist”

  1. Thank you, Marion!
    Proper words in proper time!
    I am now at the end of very successful show in “Juma” studio. Two pictures sold. One of them was sold before the opening.
    And another one a day after the opening
    Two more are taken for a month-long consignment in another gallery.
    These sales enabled me to perform a redecoration and arrangement a “client zone with small show room” so I was away from my easel almost for a month. Your motivator put me back to painting. Thank you!

    1. Congrats Natalya! Two beautiful paintings, such different landscapes but each with a strong sense of being in the location. Fingers crossed on the gallery consignment ones. Enjoy being back at your easel.

  2. I’m with you Marion. When things aren’t going right, I may persist for a little bit, but if nothing comes to me in short order, persist turns into a pause. I have several paintings currently in the pause mode, but they are always in view lest my pause becomes a stop.

    1. I don’t finish every painting; some remain unresolved and eventually become a starting point for something else. Some of those become final paintings, and some become ongoing WIPs.

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