Today, I want to share a tip that has greatly impacted my artistic journey: the pace at which we create our artwork. Whether you’re a live painter like me, constantly balancing between the swift strokes of a hare and the contemplative movements of a turtle, or you primarily work in your studio, finding the right tempo can significantly enhance your work.

Are you a Turtle? A Hare? or perhaps a “Hartle”?

As a live painter, I often find myself straddling both worlds. I consider myself a hybrid of the hare and the turtle. I’d like to coin the term “hartle” and since my quick google search tells me that Hartle is a surname, I’d like to use it as a noun to describe how I see myself as a painter. When painting live, speed is crucial. Capturing a scene as it unfolds demands quick, practiced movements, especially when working on larger canvases. This skill, akin to the hare, has been honed over years of plein air painting.

For those unfamiliar, plein air painting is the act of painting outdoors, directly from the landscape or environment being depicted. It’s an exhilarating practice that forces you to work swiftly, capturing the fleeting moments of light and atmosphere.

In addition to plein air painting, I’ve also found value in working on smaller canvases, completing pieces in a matter of hours. These smaller studies serve as exercises in speed and efficiency, training my hand to execute with precision and spontaneity.

Yet, there’s another side to my process. When I return to my studio with a live painting, I transition into turtle mode. I slow down, methodically considering each brushstroke, almost like a chess player plotting their next move. This deliberate approach allows me to refine and elevate my initial sketches, infusing them with depth and emotion.

So, my fellow artist, I ask you: how do you paint? Are you a swift hare, dashing across the canvas with urgency? Or do you resonate more with the deliberate pace of the turtle, methodically crafting each detail? Perhaps, like me, you find yourself oscillating between the two, embracing the strengths of both approaches.

Regardless of your preferred pace, remember this: every brushstroke contributes to your artistic journey. Whether you’re racing ahead or taking your time, each mark is a testament to your passion and dedication. So keep painting, keep creating, and trust in the rhythm that speaks to your soul.

As the great Vincent van Gogh once said, “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” Embrace your pace, and let your art unfold, stroke by stroke.

Quick question?

Just curious… did you want to know where I came up with this image of a hybrid turtle and a hare? I’ll tell you, I was playing around with an AI image generator in Canva! My all time favorite design program -which I just about every day for my art business.

Anyhow. in Canva there is a section called Magic Studio where you can write in a short description of text and they AI generator will create an image based on the description – I asked for a whimsical illustration of a cross between a turtle and a hare. And it gave me the image to the left. The first time I tried I didn’t ask for whimsical and the image was quit scare, so it’s best to play around with the program and try different commands.

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