Along list of views I have wanted to paint hangs above my head invisible to all except me. These small color studies have given me a pleasant opportunity to cross off items that have been on the list for years. Naturally, new items are added on a daily basis. I doubt my list will ever be short enough that it doesn’t reach high up into the clouds, way beyond the tops of the trees. That is how it should be. As long as I can keep crossing older entries off the list, the list will be an inspiration rather than a reminder of what I haven’t yet done.
The practice of making written lists of what I have done rather than what I need to do has been beneficial in all aspects of my daily life, especially painting and drawing. My new lists reinforce habits that I desire rather than reinforce habits that get in my way of progress. I rarely forget the never-ending neglected chores and projects. I don’t really need a list to remind me of them. What I do forget is the never-ending list of things I have done during the day. By not remembering those accomplishments I have robbed myself of the satisfaction of completion and commitment to those activities that nourish my heart, my mind and my soul. With a strong foundation of satisfaction it is easier to tackle a few of those don’t-want-to-do chores that gather together to form a dark cloud above me, blocking out the wonderful long list of views I want to paint, places I want to travel, drawing techniques I want to try.
It isn’t a matter of painting the view successfully, it is a matter of simply showing up on site with paint and palette in hand and giving it a try.