I am in my late 40's. I've been working in the arts for most of those years. Within that time, I've taken numerous workshops, some good, some not so much. I've painted from life, painted from photos too. I've read books and magazines and studied hard. Does this time count? You betcha! Without doing the time, I would not paint the way I do, wouldn't have the skills I've learned. And I'm not done yet either, I don't' think an artist ever really 'gets there'. Most just keep trying, doing and learning.
I've painted horses all this time. But each one is different. To do a commission, I must really study that horse, and listen very hard to the owner as to the animal's character, plus take into account how the owner feels about the animal. I might have a good photo given to me, but the horse looks quiet--but the owner may tell me "he was a real fireball in his younger years, and can you paint him like that?" All of this research takes time--does it count towards how long it took to paint that? Yup.
And while a piece is on my easel, there seems to be a need for me to simply stare at it a while. Its just how I work. And it is as necessary as the actual time spent with pigment in hand. Might look like I'm sitting there drinking tea, staring into space. But I'm not. Usually. And that time counts too.
So that is just not a question to be answered with a simple number like "2 hours". In essence, the real answer is all my life. Its taken all my life to paint this.
|Dusty Road; 8x10 pastel available at Stagecoach Gallery|