Be the Artist of Your Every Day

Tag: Paul Gallo

Day 12 – A Thought for 88 More Days

Day 12 Heart by Mary Gow

Day 12 Heart by Mary Gow

Posting a heart a day makes me think about hearts. A few days in I was concerned whether I could keep this up but I’m finding the exercise is good for me.

Maybe too many hearts though? I can see where it could get monotonous to see the same form every day. And then I realize repetition is the mother of __________? mastery?

By studying one shape and playing with expressing it many ways, wisdom may come of this.

I remember when I heard about Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, where he studied people who reached mastery in their field likely spent at least 10,000 hours practicing to get to that place.

When I read Lisa Congdon’s book about the business of being an artist something she said really stuck with me. . . how can I call myself an artist if I don’t work at it every day?

Reading that around the time Paul Gallo, my fashion illustration teacher at San Francisco City College spoke about the rewards of a daily practice. He has a daily drawing practice.

Those three factors inspired me five years ago to commit to a daily writing and painting practice with the intent get better at both. I am getting close to 10,000 hours and am far from mastery. Drawing 100 hearts is a droplet in an ocean but a precious seed for inner growth. Looking for different ways to see hearts as an exercise – like studies of 100 of anything would be. It can give the participant fresh eyes as the product of the daily exercise depends on what the artist wishes to make of the discipline required.

On my bulletin board is a Post-It Note that says “Structure = Freedom.” By the end of my march to the 100th day, which will be Valentine’s Day, I imagine celebrating that concept because these hearts are helping reveal it.

Meditation Painting

"Peace," acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20, by Mary Gow

“Peace,” acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20, by Mary Gow

Ever since I took Fashion Illustration class at City College in San Francisco this past summer I’ve been painting and drawing almost every day.

Don’t you like the compactness of classes in the summer? Six weeks of three times a week equals the 17 weeks in fall or winter semester. It’s so efficient.

There were two course instructors. Lorraine Wilner and Paul Gallo. Wilner taught the first three weeks and Gallo taught the last three.

It was from inspiration from Gallo that I decided to keep up the painting and drawing. Thank you Paul Gallo!

My daily paintings have become a meditation practice. I don’t have preconceived ideas of what’s going to appear on the canvas. I’m just going with the flow.

Above is recent painting I titled “Peace.” Holding thoughts of Peace now, more than ever.

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