Theory Of Forced Results

This is a constant battle for me–to be at the place of not forcing results; it requires confidence.

George Bellows Stag at Sharkey's

A great boxer doesn’t force the knockout blow, but steadily works his art in the ring until finally the knockout blow comes. A sly boxer, though weaker physically than his opponent, can be wily enough to cause frustration in a larger, stronger adversary, making him strain to connect with a winning blow. The straining, though, works against him. He begins to force the results and, inevitably, he loses the fight.

I want to respond intuitively, to be “in the moment” and not in the future–not on the end result. If I’m confident then I don’t worry and therefore force the results–I know they will come (this is not contrary to having a clear vision of what I am trying to accomplish).

My “formula for success”–positive thought brings confidence brings risk brings desired results. I have applied this theory to myself and it has worked. For someone who is a worrier by default, it takes practice to be positive, and miles and miles and miles of painted canvas.

Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.”
Reggie Leach

Be patient, and don’t strain after a “finished” picture…enjoy the color and light and don’t worry about results.”
William Shultz

You can’t force it. You can’t just say, “Today I’ll paint a masterpiece.”
Helmut Gransow

The proper way to grow is by releasing growth.”
Paul Hawken

Forget about the exhibitions and the juries. Think less of the success of the by-product and you will have more success with it.”
Robert Henri

Image: Stag at Sharkey’s 1909 George Bellows The Cleveland Museum of Art


MT McClanahan

An artist and perpetual thinker, MT McClanahan finds inspiration through connecting ideas across a broad range of topics. He especially enjoys philosophy and how art and life interconnect. He is the founder of TPT and his paintings can be seen at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *