Thursday, August 20, 2009

3. Philosophy today, or How to paint more

This whole blog-thing is new for me.  I confess I'm not used to the idea of putting my thoughts out there for everyone to see.  It takes a mind-set I don't usually subscribe to; it's more than just "be creative," it's also "find something to talk about that's not mundane. I learned a long time ago never to make a promise I couldn't keep.  Therefore, I solemnly swear that I will update this blog sporadically at worst, and irregularly at best. 

A large problem I have always faced is the efficient use of my time.  Either I work too much and don't have enough time to paint, or there are other demands on my time that don't leave me sufficient time to paint.  And yet, at the end of the day I'll say, "What did I do today?" and usually I can't really answer the question!  So I must have had time in there somewhere to paint, if only I had made it available.  And how many blogs have you read where there is a huge gap in time, and the author will post something saying, "Yes, I'm still alive, just been too busy to write.  Real Life keeps intruding." 

Believe it or not, this next bit will tie in to miniature painting. I now have the Three Rules of Kelly.  Through their use, I can be efficient, happy, productive, loved, respected, successful, self-satisfied, etc. They are easy to remember; just three three-word sentences. 

1. Less is more. 
2. Deeds, not words. 
3. Do it now.

That last one should be engraved on my tombstone.  As a reminder.  Just think about them for a minute.  "Less is more" is the key to being happy.  It can also be expressed as "simplify" or "keep it simple."  Complexity is unhappiness.  Deeds always speak louder than words.  Don't be that person who is all talk and no action; the one nobody trusts to get anything done.  Don't be that guy.  Be someone that can be relied on.  Be the go-to guy.  Which ties in to number three.  "Do it now."  Don't wait.  Don't procrastinate.  Don't put it off.  What are you waiting for anyway?   If you really examine it, you'll probably find that you're making excuses for not doing it now

How does this tie in to miniature painting?  Simple.  If you follow my Three Rules, you'll make time/find time to paint.  You'll find that time by getting the stuff done that you're putting off, that takes up so much time later that you can't spend painting.  Admittedly, sometimes events happen that are unavoidable, that seem to conspire against you.  Work around it.  Get back to the painting table as soon as possible.  I've had eight Senegalese Tirailleurs sitting primed, waiting for paint, for five days!  I know there have been legitimate reasons for my not working on them, but they probably only took up two or three days; the remaining time was of my own squandering.  (Part of it was spent on getting a blogging education....)  And even though they are three simple rules, they are not easy.  They're rules of my own devising and I still have to make myself remember them and follow them.  Human nature is a hard habit to break.  Thus ends my lecture for today.  I now return to my Tirailleurs, with pictures soon.   Thanks for reading, and I hope I can count on your vote for Emperor Of The Known Universe.


  1. One of the keys to figure painting when time is limited is simple . . . always have a backlog of figures that are already primed.

    If you have 20 minutes but no primed figures, you can't really do much . . . but if you have 20 minutes and figures already primed you can add a color to every figure (maybe more if it is a limited number of figues).

    Also it really really helps to get some color on those primed figures right away. I start with flesh, but what you start with doesn't matter . . . once there is color other than primer on figures, they are "almost finished" . . . well that is the perception . . . after all they are no longer just primed figures, but have started to take on some personality.

    So get some paint on those Senegalese . . . the rest of their "clothes" will follow.

    -- Jeff

  2. Jeff, you're right in that regard. I always prime the figures as I get ready to paint them. I hate having too many primed, unpainted figures staring at me; I prefer them un-primed until I get ready for them. After all, I might change my mind.

    And even though I've been painting a long time, it still amazes me how much one can get done in short 20 minute bursts, as opposed to marathon sessions.

    Thanks for reading my blog. You've got lots!