Words to Paint By

Posted by on Nov 14, 2017 in Oil Paintings | 6 Comments

“A yard is hard, but an inch is a cinch.”

I heard this recently while listening to an interview on one of my favorite podcasts. This is my approach to oil painting. Just inch along and eventually it will look finished. Then, stop looking at it, let it dry, sign it, scan it, varnish it and move on.

There is also another saying rattling around in my brain as I inch along. This one came from one of my drawing students.

“Good, better, best, Never let it rest, ‘Til your good is better, And your better is the best.”

If I stuck with this, I wouldn’t be able to finish any oil paintings at all! As it is, I jump at any chance to improve, to have a do-over, to repair something I drew or painted awhile ago.

And one more, although I’m not sure it relates to oil painting:

“What someone else thinks of me does not become my assignment.”

What someone else thinks of my painting matters quite a bit. If he likes it, he might buy it. If he likes me, he might buy it. So, perhaps what someone else thinks of my painting does become my assignment.

Good grief, maybe I should listen to music while I paint.


  1. Nikki Crain
    November 14, 2017

    Our friend Jeanette used to tell me that her mother (a seamstress) always said, “Good enough is never good enough”. I have held on to that one. So now you can plant it in your brain also.

    • cabinart
      November 14, 2017

      Oh Nikki, I can’t manage that! Perfectionism just kills me. . .

      • Nikki Crain
        November 15, 2017

        Jeanette said her mom made her rip out stitches over and over until they were right. Ugh!

        • cabinart
          November 15, 2017

          Total ugh, Nikki. There is something to be said for that sort of discipline; there is also something to be said for knowing when to say when!

  2. lclauney
    November 14, 2017

    Hahaha :-)! Leah

    • cabinart
      November 14, 2017

      Leah, I agree – hahahaha!