Play Is Practice, Too

"Sunset ii"
oil on linen panel, 6" x 8"
(please excuse the glare of the paint strokes)
There are times when there just isn't a single twist of seriousness in me. Those times come up from time to time and prevent me from concentrated focus. Maybe it is fatigue or a mental stall. Perhaps it is just a need to disengage.
Yesterday, I watched a video that came in the mail on Friday. My back was having muscle spasms, it was cold outside. So I sat with a heating pad on my back while I watched Richard Schmid do a painting. I had never seen him paint before. While I have his book, this was an education. And it was a sharp needle that injected pure confusion into me. Confusion because I found myself questioning all that I have been doing. So, while I wanted to paint today, I could not get serious about making a painting without slipping into being Mr. Schmid. I suppose that is what we artists do; we become influenced by other artists.
So, instead, I played with the paint. Just tried a few things with color to see what would happen. I even caked on the white of the sun. In a frame, this little 'game' painting sure gives off light. It was fun. And . . . . . . .I learned from this too. So, playing isn't always a waste of time. Brush mileage is brush mileage, right?

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