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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm back, at least for the moment, with more nuggets of irrelevancy!

Here is a list describing the Seven Deadly Sins of painting that my art teacher showed me from this website:

It's not a humorous list like, but it makes you think.

Which are you guilty of? Sins 2 and 3 certainly appeal to me, to say the very least.

1. Sloth (Virtue: Diligence)
Sloth is more than mere laziness, it's also apathy. You want to paint, but you're not willing to put the time in to learn fundamental techniques and skills. You want to paint more detailed images, but still want to finish a painting in an afternoon. You want the results, but deny the due diligence you need to put in.

2. Wrath (Virtue: Patience)
Do you get angry when a painting isn't working as you wish? Are you impatient for results? Do you hate particular subjects because you think they're difficult to paint? Anger, impatience, rage, hatred... these are all part of the painting sin of wrath. It takes time to create a painting as finished as the one you visualized when you had the idea. It takes patience to learn the skills, to spend the time a painting needs to get the result you want.

3. Gluttony (Virtue: Temperance)
Are you always buying yet another paint color, a better brush, or new art gadget that promises to do this or that? Retail therapy with art materials is a diversion from your painting. Great art can be made with a pencil or ballpoint pen and a sheet of computer paper. Great painting comes mostly from the artist's mind and learned skills, not the materials.

4. Greed (Virtue: Charity)
Is your creativity led by what you'll gain by making a particular painting, rather than anything else? Are you painting foremost for financial gain, for instance commissions only? Are you focused on gaining a place in the annals of art rather than the pleasure of what you're doing now? The sin of greed is about gain, not consumption (that's covered elsewhere).
Do you hoard your knowledge and ideas? Many an art teacher will tell you how much they've learned by sharing what they know. Even if you taught someone everything you knew, they'd still do something different with it because they're not you.

5. Lust (Virtue: Chastity)
Are you always “going with the flow”, sometimes getting great results but also disappointing yourself regularly by working too far on a painting and feeling let down when things don't flow? Take pleasure in the act of painting, but take the time to analyze what works and doesn't, what could be improved, what should be used again another time.

6. Envy (Virtue: Kindness)
There will always be painters whose work you prefer to your own, who you think are better, who have ideas you wish you'd had. Being envious won't improve your painting. Being kind to yourself and giving yourself time to develop as an artist will.
There will always be that photograph that looks so good, if only you could reproduce it.... Don't let envy lead you into copyright theft.

7. Pride (Virtue: Humility)
This isn't about being pleased with what you've painted, being proud to show off a finished painting. It's the irrational pride that stops you evaluating what you're painting accurately. If you think you're extremely self-critical and thus never guilty of this painting sin, think about when last you didn't want to touch a section of a painting because it was “a good bit”.
Pride can also stop you learning from others. If you think you have it all then anything someone else does, even the great masters, isn't going to influence you. But there is so much from across the centuries, so many people have tried so many paths, there's no need to reinvent the wheel yourself while you develop as an artist. Learn from what others have done, then make it your own.
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