Forget talent, develop grit!

This is NOT a post about the graining qualities of watercolours!

Rather, ‘Grit’ in this context means a passion and a persevere to meet your long term goals.

It was identified in the little TED talk below, as the key attribute you need for successful learning.

They weren’t speaking specifically about painting, but I believe it’s not just applicable to painting, it’s VITAL that we begin to think of painting in this way.

If someone first tries to learn a different language, and they don’t pick it up really quickly, we don’t assume that they CAN’T learn it.

But somehow with painting, it’s seen as something more mysterious, when really it’s not.

Often the ability to paint is put down to a thing we call ‘talent’. And ‘talent’ (or the lack of it) in the common understanding of it is a really defeatist concept because it’s assumed it’s not something you can develop.

However, the research into brain development is now showing that it is absolutely something that is developed, and I’ll be writing about this a lot more.

The best thing about this research is that it can really help people to build ‘grit’.

Knowledge of the new research can help people develop what’s been termed a ‘Growth mindset’.

It’s the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed, but rather it can change with your effort.

This means you persevere when you fail because you don’t believe failure is a permanent state.

Have you seen your perseverance, or ‘grit’ start to bear fruit? Sharing your story would help others with their own grit, so please let us know!

Happy Painting!

 

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8 Comments

  1. Kim Shenberger on October 11, 2014 at 3:48 am

    I am a complete and total novice to watercolor but am determined to apply myself to learning because I know that with hard work and perserverance, I can improve and grow.

    I’ve had your book for about three weeks now and read through it three times before picking up a brush. I felt prepared to give it a go and I’ve already seen improvement and the beginnings of confidence–not in my talent or skill, but in my ability to learn.

    Thank you for such great resources, Anna!

  2. Kim Shenberger on October 11, 2014 at 3:48 am

    I am a complete and total novice to watercolor but am determined to apply myself to learning because I know that with hard work and perserverance, I can improve and grow.

    I’ve had your book for about three weeks now and read through it three times before picking up a brush. I felt prepared to give it a go and I’ve already seen improvement and the beginnings of confidence–not in my talent or skill, but in my ability to learn.

    Thank you for such great resources, Anna!

  3. Brenda Laurence on December 21, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Thank you. I have subscribed to this blog. And will add GRIT to my watercolor experiences.

  4. Bev Morgan on December 21, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Thank you for this inspirational message on “grit”. It affirms what I learned as a child at the piano practicing scales. They were not easy, especially as they got longer and more complex. But as I was willing to do them I would be able to play Mozart and Beethoven and Chopin. They were the building blocks and it took grit then as it does now some 65 years later. I’m new to painting but I absolutely love it. And although my pieces don’t always look like yours Anna, I’ve given myself permission not to be perfect in my infancy even if I haven’t had the courage to post. No grit no gain. Off to my blueberry for now.

  5. Elisabeth Andersen on May 8, 2018 at 11:57 am

    I started with watercolors 27 years ago. I painted for 2 years but wasn’t satisfied with what I achived. I had a teacher who was a proffecional painter herself. She wasn’t abel to explain to me what to do and why so I stopped painting waiting for better times. “Better times” came when I first met Anna on Craftsy. The moment I saw Annas technic I knew that I could do that. Small brushes and small brushstrokes that was me. I have to Tel that I have worked as a dentist for 30 years. That have helped me a lot. I started with the pear – not Williams pear – and I really struggeled. After 3 times pear I was nearly giring up. Then I discovered the beginner coarses at started with the pea. Then things started to happen. Annas videos is of great help.

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