The Art of Practice – Tip #6

Here’s today’s helpful (I hope) tip in the art of practice:

Learn Ignorance

Faith-based painting is very fun. Your insufficiency is the point. Fight back “knowing.” It’s invigorating and will grow your artistry.

This calls to mind the old adage that ignorance is bliss, and that can certainly be true in art. While it’s good to have knowledge, sometimes it’s better when we know little — or nothing — about what we’re doing.


Too much knowledge can lead to over-thinking, which can lead to stress and anxiety, which can lead to uninspired art and predictable painting. That’s my opinion, anyway.

When we’re oblivious to rules and all the how-to’s of a medium, we don’t have to worry about whether we’re breaking them or not, and as another old adage goes, rules are made to be broken. Being ignorant gives us a greater sense of freedom.

More and more I’m learning to just trust the process. Yes, I do study a lot, and I’ve gathered a lot of knowledge. When it comes time to paint, though, I usually forget most of what I know. In the past, that was accidental. Now, I’m doing it more deliberately. I’m approaching my painting not so much with the information inside my head, but with the emotions from my heart.

Yet another adage I love says that we should always follow our heart — but remember to take our head along with us. This, I think, is a necessary caveat to today’s tip on ignorance. Yes, paint with faith and confidence. Trust the process. Express your emotions through your art, yet do it in a somewhat sensible way.

Or maybe not. Maybe it’s best if we follow yet another adage and simply find our bliss.
Bliss 2


    1. That’s an excellent way to describe it. It’s so true that the more (we think) we know, the more difficult it can be to approach art. That, at least, has been my experience. Maybe it’s partly due to our expectations. When I first began, I was thrilled by even the smallest success. As I learned and “developed” as an artist, it was harder to appreciate what I was doing. I felt like “I should be doing better!” I really like the idea of cultivating “a beginner’s mind”. Thanks so much for sharing the thought.


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