[caption id="attachment_302" align="alignleft" width="287" caption="Artist Ann Rea"][/caption] Each time I create a new series, my work progresses. Sometimes the development of a new body of work simply causes subtle shifts in my visual perception. Or a new body of work can be the catalyst for the development of a new technique. More importantly, the more I paint, the more my confidence and ability increases. And even if I encounter frustration along the way, I always experience a deep sense of satisfaction once I complete a new body of work. This satisfaction is what drives me creatively, not the paintings themselves. Someone else, my patrons, will be enjoying the paintings for years to come. The paintings will be gone. But even though I have to release my paintings, their creation will inform the next body of work - whatever that may be. The next inspiration is the great unknown; it could be my next inclination or something that pops into my head. Where does that next inspiration come from? It could come from a trip to the De Young art museum on the weekend where some work of art strikes my fancy. It could be my admiration of a technique or an emotional quality that I see in a piece of art on the museum’s walls. My experience is that my inspiration comes from my perspiration. I’m reminded of a book that I just read, Malcolm Gladwell's book “Outliers: The Story of Success.” Gladwell describes what sets apart people who are successful. “In his book, he describes that becoming successful is a mixture of opportunity and how much you take advantage of that opportunity. This opportunity knocks as a result of an individual's circumstance, environment, social status, even culture and religion.” "In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice-skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, this number comes up again and again. Ten thousand hours is equivalent to roughly three hours a day, or 20 hours a week, of practice over 10 years... " I’m not sure if I’ve reached 10,000 hours of painting yet but I’m getting damn close.