The Norwegian Artist and I walk 3-5 miles every day, broken up in two or three sessions. It gets the dog out, me off the chair in front of the computer, and the Norwegian from behind his oil painting easel. During the break, we propound to one another correct solutions to national, international, and domestic problems.
There's no one quite like you in this whole entire world.
Unless it's raining. At that point, I stay in, regardless of the Norwegian's exasperated sigh or the dog's pleading look.
It's not so much that I'm inordinately difficult as that I wear glasses, and I really, really hate droplets spattered all over the lenses because then my whole world looks blotchy. While I subconsciously realized this, it took me years before I thought to communicate my reasons to the Norwegian, who, now that he wears reading glasses and understands the irritation of fingerprints or dust on the lenses, nodded and said, "I can see that. Why don't you wear a hat?"
Well, at least we achieved partial understanding. The Norwegian is content to accept that this is the way I am, and on rainy days he and the dog share special time together.
What about you? Do you do something a certain way because of something unique about you?
Do you find it more comfortable to sit when you are oil painting, but everybody you know says that you should stand while putting oil on canvas? Or do you stand closer to your easel than many people do because that's how your eyes focus best? How about light? Maybe you prefer it coming from one side or another or even behind you — possibly because you wear glasses and they catch a reflection. Or maybe you paint very very quickly, and other artists say that you should slow down.
Before you hang your head and mumble that everyone else is probably right, and you're wrong, as usual, think about me and my glasses. You may have an excellent reason for doing what you do and how you do it and that reason is intimately tied in with something distinctive about you. Take some time and think it through — not so that you have to answer the people critiquing you, but so that you can answer yourself about what is right for your oil painting art. It'll be the best painting lesson you give yourself.