Art in Ten Minutes

Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Doctrine and Covenants 64:32-33

For several years, I’ve been taking small steps toward being creative.

A ten minute sketch of my 10 year old daughter.

After setting up my art room last year, many days went by without setting foot into it, feeling that somehow I couldn’t, because I didn’t have a babysitter, or enough time to get anything done.

Then one day at Walmart last month, I picked up a $5 watch with a timer, and found that by making ten-minute goals, I could make real progress in many areas of my household work.

So for art, I gave myself permission to just try to get something done in ten minutes, and that’s all.

Each morning before my kids get up I find something to draw or paint for a little while. I show up every day.

I don’t have to succeed at completing the whole project. I can get more of that task done next time I attempt it.

Just as this tactic works to diffuse that overwhelmed feeling of trying to clean my whole house, it also removes the stress of perhaps not making an acceptable product. It’s just a ten minute practice!

Art school was intimidating. It kind of took the fun, playful feeling out of making art. But watching my children create things with abandon has given me back some confidence that art is about fun, and there’s no one judging me.

I am encouraged by the energy that comes when this time limit is imposed. It’s all about the things I learn from the process, and it encourages my confidence.

There is a loose, confident look to a professional’s strokes, even an excitement, which is full of life. Imposing a time limit helps bring these out.

I also feel infused by a sense of enjoyment of life that I don’t feel when I’m not being creative. This makes me a happier person and my kids notice that I’m more fun and less grouchy about the housework.

It puts life in perspective, because, after all, what’s important? –Enjoying life’s beauties and relationships and taking care of my people in a loving way.

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