Friday, January 25, 2008

Eating Cold Porridge

I started reading a book the other day and the opening chapter captured my mind completely. It said that in order to become really good at something one has to "eat the cold porridge".
"The way he explained it, eating the cold porridge means working at something for so long that when you get home there is nothing left to eat but cold porridge......
That’s how you get good at something ...... That’s how you get good at anything. You eat the cold porridge.
You work at it when the others are playing. You work at it when the others are watching television. You work at it when the others are sleeping.
To become the master of something, you must eat the cold porridge."
From One for my Baby by Tony Parsons.

I'm still working at the grisaille of "Comfort Zone" and am very determined that I will get this finished. It has been cluttering up my easel for far too long. Its an incredible learning experience to work and work at something to develop it beyond a level with which I previously would have been satisfied. The fabric of the chair is still proving to be very difficult to get right.


vivien said...

it's going beautifully :)

your 'cold porridge' reminded me of uni classes, where after 3 hours slogging at drawing something you'd think you were about finished - only to have the tutor say - 'mmmm another hours work and it will be there' - our hearts woould sink! But he was right - it's going that extra mile that really makes something - now there are some mixed metaphors!! :)

Mary said...

Anita this is looking good! I hope I get a result from eating the cold porridge too, although I have to admit sometimes I get interrupted by more than a day and maybe that is why I haven't finished either.

Anonymous said...

Eating the cold porridge is tasty. One acquires a taste for it.

Billie Crain said...

Anita, you put it in such a way that i understand the quote now. definitely words to inspire one. i see this chair coming to life more and more everytime you post an update. simply amazing.

Anita said...

Vivien - what I find difficult now is knowing when to stop. You work and work at it and it gets better and so you work at it more .... but there comes a time when you have to say "enough!".

Mary - you are still way ahead on yours. I went months without working on mine, not just days!

Robin - yum yum, cold porridge!

Billie - thank you!

Robyn said...

Anita - The detail in the fabric already takes my breath away!
As for cold porridge ... I have always thought John Singer Sargent was simply blessed with incredible talent, until I read the other day of the number of hours, seven days a week, he put into his studies in Paris. Gives one a taste for cold porridge.

all artwork is copyright of Anita Murphy 2006/2007/2008/2009