In the last
article, I discussed my distressing and difficult sock project (The Socks from Hell),
and how I didn't enjoy the process at all, and the best thing about the whole
thing was when it was over and the socks were on my feet (which almost didn't
So why, you
ask me, did you start the project at all, if you were so incompetently able to
manage it? Why not do something easier?
question, one I asked myself a few times, and one that painters and draftsmen and creative types of all kinds often ask themselves too. But the answer always wound up being
isn't too hard for you, dear.
restful, peaceful image to take your mind off of whatever is frustrating you.
part of the Homeland series, by Steve Henderson.
I can knit
socks -- I've got a whole drawer of them -- and while I can't do it with my
eyes closed, I can do it while watching an action movie, which is pretty much
the same thing.
technique I faced with the Socks
from Hell (for you knitters out there), while challenging, was not beyond my ability, but it was a
stretch (er, no pun intended), and I was up for that challenge. I knew that in
order to meet it I would need to allow myself extra time, focused
concentration, and the permission and expectation to make mistakes. I also
limited myself to the one challenging technique, which was fortunate -- and
wise -- because I managed to mess up on that one technique enough times that I
had no room to mess up on another.
completion, by golly I was much better at that technique, and I'll be able to
incorporate it into another project without so much agony and ripping out of
If you find
yourself painting with your eyes closed, or whipping out canvases while keeping
up with Daniel Craig on the latest James Bond movie, maybe it's time to plan to
frustrate yourself by learning how to paint with a new, different, potentially (and
most probably) frustrating painting technique, and giving yourself permission to get
really, really flummoxed.
You'll be pretty
impressed with yourself by the end.