Looking Back – Day 90 – Apple Whimsy

Today is Day 90 of the Art Apple A Day Retrospective – for information on the project click here.

Day Ninety – December 29, 2010

Looking back 10 years ago today…

My style has actually emerged over the past ten years! Isn’t that interesting. I think when we lived in Colorado I struggled with how to blend the western influence with my roots in New England and since we moved to Maine in 2013 my love of antiques has been able to take hold where they looked a bit odd in Colorado. I now have a fairly traditional home although still eclectic with a touch of whimsey.

In terms of having a defined style as an artist, it was always an elusive concept for me and a year of apples where the point was to create many many different looks and styles didn’t help me evolve a style. Pushing to create so many different looks was a great exercise and really pushed me creatively but it left me in a bit of chaos at the end of the year of apples. Fast forward to late 2018 when I made the decision to take over the apartment above our garage as my full time artist studio, I still didn’t feel like I had a recognizable style. So I painted, and I painted, and I painted… and guess what happened!!!

My artistic style finally blossomed! And it feels amazing.

Have you heard about the 10,000 hour rule? Malcolm Gladwell wrote about it in his awesome book Outliers. He basically theorizes that you can become good at (or an expert) at something if you put in 10,000 hours of practice. I loved this thought when I first read his book back in 2011. It helped me decide to spend a full year just painting constantly to see what emerged and I was fortunate to be able to dedicate that time. His ideas on this have been analyzed, some say “debunked”, and he’s been run over the coals a bit over it. I can see the reasons. I could spend 10,000 hours practicing the 100 yard dash and I would never be a competitive runner. I might improve my time by a lot and become stronger but there is a limitation to my ability to achieve expert level in that endeavor. I’m not looking to disprove his concept – I understand its power.

Dedicate yourself to something and once you’ve done so for a significant amount of time you will have a certain mastery of it. By “debunking” the 10,000 hour rule I think we hurt more people than we help. We have too many people saying to themselves that it’s pointless to work towards something because they will never be proficient. How sad is that! Pick something you love even if you’ve never done it. (I’ve threatened to learn Cello for years now – imagine if I had started learning 10 years ago!)

What do you wish to learn? When are you going to start? Time moves on no matter what and looking back I can see my evolution in so many things. This reflection is helping me make decisions to start new things – might as well pick up that instrument, enroll in that degree program, learn to weld… the sky is the limit.

My brother’s mantra is, “nothing to it but to do it” and I’d love to hear what you are going to dedicate 10,000 hours to starting in 2021!

To see my original Day 90 post ~ Apple Whimsey ~ from 10 years ago click here or on the image above.

And the story will continue tomorrow…

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