We are a culture obsessed by time. Time goes by too fast. We wonder where the day went, where the summer went, where the year went. We are forever trying to keep up with the pace of time. We have no control over the passing of time. Time moves forward no matter what we do. What we can do is choose how we spend our time. Making art is one of the most productive and meaningful ways to use time.
We can’t stop time but we can find ways to put to rest our relentless thoughts about time. The mere act of attempting to draw or paint takes you out of yourself and makes you live in the moment. You forget time when you are making art. And unlike passive activities such as surfing the net or watching television, with art, you create something resulting in evidence of time spent, whether it be a sketch, painting or photograph, you have a record of what you made.
The great thing about art is the more you do, the better you get. Skills develop with increased practice. Spending time making art becomes an investment in skills development. For every hour you devote to artmaking, that is an hour more progress that you will experience. Each hour adds on to the last one, making the journey an inevitable progression to getting better.
Making art slows down time. A large part of learning to draw or paint or photograph is to really look and notice what you see. The big “secret” to drawing well, is to stop and really pay attention to what you are seeing. The reason most of us can’t draw, or think we can’t draw, is because we don’t spend enough time just looking at what is front of us. We rush ahead of ourselves and draw what the brain thinks the object looks like. If you slow down and concentrate, you will be able to draw what you see in no time at all.
Making art allows you to forget time, live in the moment, make a record time spent, and use time productively to improve your skills. It is a meaningful way to navigate through the world because it allows to you really experience life in a direct manner.