Wow - over a week since I've posted. At least my excuses are good: preparing for a show last friday, hosting an online show all month in November, and then winterizing my house. Maybe by the end of this week, things will slow down to a mere breakneck pace.
Chris Howard has some interesting things going on. He's participating in a program called the National Novel Writing Month, in which authors attempt to produce an entire 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
This is a really interesting concept -- I think there's a LOT to be said for being prolific and producting a large amount of work, even if it's just "practice" work. For instance, you can spend 30 days working on just one painting, agonizing over every detail. Or, you can produce 30 smaller, rougher paintings in the same period, and solve 30 complete sets of artistic problems, gaining a tremendous amount of experience along the way.
Obviously, it would be stupid to advocate working this way all the time. Shortcuts and shoddy working habits are clear and present dangers. And in the end, probably most masterpieces were the products of long and loving attention. However, there are times along the way when churning out a lot of work seems really important.
In some ways, producing quality comes from producing quantity.