Creating a New Habit

by Kathleen Huebener in Works in Progress
During our annual family clean up, we collect all items unfit for either donation or recycling in our screened-in patio. Then on the day assigned, we carry everything to the curb for the city pick-up. It was sometime during the middle of the process to the curb, when I decided without a doubt that I would rather be painting!

As any artist can relate, the family routine and responsibilities plays havoc on the artist’s precious paint time. Often it is necessary for the artist to put herself and her paint time last to keep life flowing smoothly for others. However, there comes a time when one has to say “No! It is time to paint!”

A fact that has been running repeatedly in my brain:

It takes 21 days to create a habit.

Many years ago, I used to teach this fact when I was the Life Program Director. I used it as an aid to help people overcome bad habits by replacing them with new good habits. How could I forget this fact about habits? Nevertheless, forget it, I did. Luckily, Empty Easel reminded me of this fact in their tutorials last week. They posted an article by Aletta de Wal: How to Develop Good Creative Habits in Just 21 Days

Since I have now only Wednesdays available as my paint day, I am discovering it is not enough. Aletta de Wal’s article renewed the right attitude I needed to turn a bad habit into the good one. The desire to paint requires action!

The truth of the matter is this: because ART is the individual expression of oneself, lectures, teachers, or books cannot teach us art. They can teach the elements and principles of art. They can show us fine art pieces and introduce the Old Masters. However, to create art, the individual expression of oneself, the artist needs to paint! This means practice, practice, and practice! This means paint, paint, and paint!

I started my new habit yesterday. It was a blessed one-hour painting session on two partly begun paintings. The thrill in my heart as I took those important minutes to view what I had accomplished encouraged me to continue. I must add that I will honor the Lord by taking Sabbath days off. I will count 21 painting days in a row minus Sabbath days. On every day, other than Sabbath days, I am determined to paint! It is time to create a new habit! 21 days – can I accomplish this? With the Lord’s help, I am going to do it!

I painted today for one and a half hours! In 21 paint days, this will be a HABIT! Hurrah! Artists, check out Empty Easel for more great tutorials. You will not regret it!