What Kind of Path Are You Walking
And What You Can Do About It
Creating a path and navigating one have a lot in common. As an artist, I've painted my fair share of paths, and in the beginning, some looked more like ramps. It wasn't until I figured out that horizontal brush strokes create flat paths and vertical ones create ramps that my trails actually started to look the way they were supposed to.
I still paint a lot of studies even now because I'm always learning. Some things come easily and others take quite a bit of trial and error to master. As a self-taught artist, I've had to discover many of the techniques and tricks that are routinely taught at art school.
But I've always believed that the things you have to work for, fight for, and search for really stick with you.
The path of life is a lot like that. We're all self-taught when it comes to navigating this world. Everything we learn, everything we know, comes from watching and learning from others, making mistakes, and pushing forward.
Sometimes we create paths and other times we create ramps.
And just because we learn how to make paths doesn't mean we always will or should. Even when we do, they're rarely ever straight and smooth. They can be slippery, they fork and splinter, and the elevation is always changing so that what's a path one minute might turn into a ramp the next.
Sometimes it can even feel like we're walking someone else's path. Like we're stuck in a rut, never to forge out on our own and blaze a new trail.
But that's not always a bad thing. Some trails are so well-trodden that there's no point deviating from them because you probably won't make a better one. You'll just recreate the wheel.
Other times, you can't help but to pull out your machete and hack through the wilderness, creating a path that you have no idea where it will lead. These are the times when you're most likely to create ramps. You forget your horizontal strokes and end up slipping and sliding into one hard lesson after another.
But it's how we learn and grow.
Did you know there's never been a single baby in history that learned to walk without falling - a lot?
As adults, we're not as forgiving about slips and falls, partially because we believe we've mastered walking and partly because we might break a hip!
But stagnation is far worse than risking the occasional slip, and when we never create new paths and never step outside our comfort zones, we never grow.
There's a time to cruise along and a time to strike out.
So don't be afraid of creating paths or even ramps.
After all, slides are ramps and they're loads of fun.
So in art as in life, it's important to know when to paint horizontal, when to paint vertical, and when to leave well enough alone.
It can be the difference between smooth sailing and falling in a mud puddle!
Want to know more? Follow me on Facebook @ArtByKimHight for fun facts, daily celebrations, and inspiration.
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