How often does a sheep stop and strike a pose for you?
With the morning sun lighting him/her from behind, no less.
This fellow (left) made for an easy morning of painting.
I've been talking with some fellow painters who are trying to "do it all" while holding down jobs. It's a familiar story. Every one of us wants to paint more. We know that this is the road to better paintings, but with the commitments we have it can be frustrating.
Time for some tough love my fellow artists-
it probably won't get easier anytime soon. Unless you are on the verge of early retirement, there are only so many hours in a day. Which leads to the only possible solution: you gotta get organized and you gotta get your priorities in order.
When I interviewed Joe McGurl on Artists Helping Artists, he said that early on he decided that there were only two really important things in his life: his family and his art. Everything other than those two things was a distraction, although he recognized it was important to fit them in once in a while. That's a lesson for all of us. Do what is most important to you and let the other things fall away. And for goodness sake, stop being so hard on yourselves. Frustration does nothing to improve your art. It could be the catalyst for change, but I don't hear from too many folks who can afford to make the leap just yet.
One thing that is heavenly is doing an out-of-town workshop. You clear your schedule, you live & breathe art, and someone else makes your bed every day. Even if it's only for three days, it's amazing how much you improve and how satisfying it is. A glimpse of the future, perhaps? Anyway, it keeps my battery charged, and I find that I return to my "day job" a better person with a better outlook on life as well as some new skills. Worth the time and money, especially with the right artist doing the teaching.
As for daily painting, someone out there talked about using a crock pot to get the dinner prep out of the way- great idea. As is cooking enough food for two nights of dinners. Things like setting an alarm clock for an hour of painting, limiting outside commitments, reserving one weekend day for nothing but painting- these can all help to make way for painting. I think that with a few shortcuts, it is possible to find some time. Just not as much as one might like.
I've already stated publicly that I can't cut down on sleep, it makes me too miserable. I can't paint before work, because I never want to stop. So I try to paint at least 3 nights a week, I keep Saturdays open for painting, and I try to never feel badly about that. I would love to have painting as my full time occupation, but as I said, it's not happening this year.
This year is all about r e l a x i n g , painting, and enjoying that wonderful feeling of the brush on the canvas.