This past weekend I participated in the quickdraw in Scottsdale's Fall For The Arts Festival. Main street was blocked off and 30 artists filled the street, each creating a piece of art in 2 hours. I wanted to paint this theater from a photo and sketches I had done over in LA earlier this year. I knew it would be a little ambitious to finish a painting this involved so I did a practice version a few days before the event. Sure enough, it took me 4 hours to complete the painting. I did it again and got it down to a little over 3 hours. After 4 more repeated paintings (so 6! altogether), I was able to get it down to 2 hours. Painting the same painting 6 times in a row may not sound very creative, however, I found it to be instructive. It taught me how to better simplify and economize - making every stroke count. When I did the painting on Saturday, I finished in time, not by feverishly throwing paint around, but by making decisions (both rationally and intuitively) about every color I mixed and every stroke I made. It turned out rather well.