I was reminded this week of the importance of taking it slow. A student from my recent art workshop suffers from chronic fatigue. She was so enjoying her painting and trying to get as much accomplished at the one-day workshop that she didn’t notice that she was getting tired and needed to take a break. Although she had a wonderful time, it made her really exhausted the following day. Despite the popular myth of the tortured artist, you really shouldn’t have to suffer for your art - it should be a fun and exciting journey.
I don’t teach often and only in person, so my painting workshops have limited places and tend to sell out quickly. The artists who come are always a great bunch of people, supportive with each other, really keen to learn as much as possible, sometimes a little competitive or easily dismayed (because everyone else’s painting always seems better than your own!) but everyone leaves with a new idea, a mostly-finished painting and the inspiration to do more. I encourage them to go further than they think they are capable and I make sure we relax for lunch together, but this made me realise that I need to remind them to slow down sometimes. I also need to remind myself to slow down.