This is loosely based upon a two-page article in the Mat 12, 2017 issue of The Week, a weekly news magazine.

Malcolm Gladwell is credited with determining that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become world-class at anything.  More recent research by others has provided additional clarification.  It takes more than just practice; it requires "dedicated practice".  Doing color charts and repeating the same type of painting is practice, but not the dedicated type.

Dedicated practice refers to the concentrated study of problem areas or specific  techniques and practices needed to achieve a higher level of competency.  Pushing one's boundaries, not staying in one's comfort zone, a highly motivated and dedicated striving to achieve.

It has also been noted that the highest achievers typically do not work more than 4 hours a day - the concentration levels involved preclude longer hours.  That four hours is also broken up with planned breaks and may perhaps represent two separate work sessions, one in the morning, and one later in the day.  Their day also includes naps, and more sleep time per day than their peers.

In reality, it takes 10 years to accumulate those 10,000 hours of dedicated practice and stand with the best of them.  Cramming the hours doesn't work - the least productive individuals in one study were those who worked 60 hours per week, while their 15 - 20 hour peers were the most productive.

Bottom line is that the time factor is only relevant when considering your "dedicated practice"; the time spent concentrating on definite goals, problems, and improving you standards on a continual basis.  So leave the cell phones out of the studio, turn off the TV, and .   .     .    .  oh, never mind, I just want to enjoy myself, anyway!

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thanks Charles! this gives me hope :)  very interesting read. i love the things you make me think about. it is good for me!

Interesting food for thought, Charles.  I am trying to paint as much as I can, right now.  I do think this is the best way to improve, but I also read a lot about painting (and think about it and dream about it:):):)  I appreciate all of the input on this site which helps me a lot.

Sounds like Malcolm needs another 10,000 hours of research. Hope it's not a Gov. grant.

We all know it takes dedicated practice and forever remaining teachable, but we shouldn't be motivated by stats., but inspired by what we see, feel, love, and believe in. Then and only then will we "Achieve a higher level of competency". No matter what some other person or group has to say.


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