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  • Writer's pictureLucy

Patience is (More Than) a Virtue

I've always enjoyed the 1999 movie "The Mummy" staring Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser. One of my favorite parts is when Rachel's character is trying to decipher an ancient text while an angry mob closes in. When her brother pushes her to work faster she calmly says, "Patience is a virtue!" Brendan's character responds by saying "Not right now it isn't!" and the auidence laughs. (Click the photo above or click HERE to see the short clip).

According to the online Cambridge Dictionary patience is defined as "the ability to wait, or to continue doing something despite difficulties, or to suffer without complaining or becoming annoyed."

Not an easy task!

And according the website writing explained, the saying "patience is a virtue" can be traced back to: far back as the fifth century, to the epic poem Psychomachia. This poem serves to highlight Christian ideals and describes vices and virtues as people fighting one another. In the poem, Patience is one of the virtues, which is fighting Anger.

I like that visual--patience fighting anger--mostly because I find it to be true--when I feel impatient I usually also feel angry. And sometimes also feel defeated or sad.

Creating art is a master class in patience. It takes time to turn an idea into a reality. It takes a lot of trial and error to get a still life set up just right. It takes time for a model's schedule to line up with my schedule.

Then the act of painting requires calmness and patience--I have to slow down to see every detail and place those details in the right place on the paper. Usually I don't get them right the first or second time or even the third (or more!) times.

After a painting is eventually finished it takes time to get it professionally photographed and framed and then...well it takes a lot of patience to display it, promote it, and field comments and questions from viewers.

And patience is required when hoping a painting will sell as buyers often don't purchase art impulsively. They go home and and think about it, imagine it in their home, talk to their spouse/family, then and only then, they may purchase.

Some days I have more patience than other days--which I think (and hope!) is normal.

However, lately I haven't been feeling very patient. Maybe it's because spring is right around the corner and I've been feeling "fidgety". Like I want to move faster, enter more exhibits, have more things happen NOW.

But then I take a deep breath and remind myself that "patience is a virtue" and get back to painting. One stroke at a time.

In the end I find that patience is more than a virtue when it comes to creating art--patience is a way of life.

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