Allow Yourself Time to Practice

cartree birds

When I was 16 and had been practicing to take my driver’s test [I would be eligible to do that in another month], my parents allowed me to drive a couple of blocks alone — to catch the bus so that I could cheer at a ballgame.  I grew up in a tiny town; and there was definitely no traffic.  After returning from the game, I helped carry some things inside and by that time, the parking lot was virtually empty.  Regardless, I managed to back into the only tree in the parking lot.  Naturally, I was scared to death to go home and admit my crime; and judging by my mother’s anger, my fear was justified.  Ultimately, she said:  “Until you learn how to drive, I am just not going to allow you to drive any more!”

I dared not laugh at the remark; but even at the time, I saw the humor in the obvious truth that no one can learn to drive–unless they drive.

The same thing is true of art.  Regardless of how freely you want to paint, there is a learning curve.  Allow yourself the time to learn; but don’t wait to paint–until you are great at painting.  That can no more happen than one can learn to drive without driving.  

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