Deep practice, deep paintings

I just read a book called The Talent Code which talks about (among other things) how people get really good at stuff, be it arts related, sports, or really, anything that a person would want to be good at.  He discusses actual changes in the brain that are brought on by consistent, focused practice at your art.

In other words, like the old joke says: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

As an artist who teaches, I often have the feeling that my students are waiting for the magic formula to escape my lips, so that they can paint just like me.  (I know, you’re not all like that) The other interesting concept brought up in the book, was that those who had to struggle whether financially or with lack of facilities are MORE likely to get really good at things than those who either had lots of “natural talent” or had their way paved too easily.  It seems that it is the struggle to “get it right” that is the more important an indicator of long term excellence.  I’ve always told my students that I was not a star in art school. This is absolutely true.  what I was, was STUBBORN!!!!!!  Turns out, this made a better painter than I would have been, had I won all the awards and got into all the shows.

Huh! Go figure!


7 thoughts on “Deep practice, deep paintings

  1. Hi, Anne, I am so pleased you read the book. When I talked about it at your class, I felt like no one was listening… It is exciting and amazing!!

  2. This is really interesting and confirms what I’ve come to believe. I never heard of the book, but I’m definitely going to find it and read it! Malcom Gladwell talks about the same idea in Outliers. He calls it the 10,000 hour rule – putting in at least 10,000 hours at something is one of the factors in achieving great success at anything.

    • There is another book which I want to read, called “the Shallows” by Nicholas Carr. He wrote an article last year in the atlantic monthly, “Is Google Making Us Stoopid?” His premise, in a nutshell, is that the quick looks and fast switching between source material on the internet is changing our brains (and not for the better)

  3. great painting Anne. sounds like a great book. I just read Dr. Norman Doidge, The Brain that Changes Itself. It’s all about brain plasticity and the amazing things our brains are capable of…
    We know your brain is capable of making beautiful art, thanks for that!

  4. Hi Anne. Being a Luddite, I agreed w/ the premise of stupidification via Goggle and Wiki winging.

    Attended Kern’s UW class, where all the grads did was hopscotch around source material, to pull together site analysis, and solutions from the web. No one wanted to be the prose person. It was all bullet driven thinking for use as PP presentations!

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