Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Reasons to paint each day, continued; Twins by the Water
A small field by the roadside in rural Maryland, often overlooked, caught my fancy as I struggle to get my mojo back.
Yesterday so many good thoughts were brought forward by artist bloggers. Be sure to read all the comments. It makes me think about how I handle my practice and why. Like Bob, I agree artists think painting ALL the time. We, as artists are always noticing the colors in the landscape and wondering why and how. We are thinking about the paintings in the studio or in our heads. We carry sketchbooks to draw. For me it can be more important to write down how I feel when I experience it, my response to color and mood. As Brian E described we are intentional when we work. Each day I go out for my vitamin. I have a plan or a goal in my head before I set up my easel. When you have a goal it's possible to reach it. Intention. (or training specific) As Brian M noted, yes we have a million things that can get in our way and many of those things are good (like Doug said). Still I feel firmly we owe it to ourselves as artists to give that time even if it is just 30 minutes. I roll out of bed, feed the cats and leave out the door at 6am so that I can "take my vitamin" even if the day a full studio day or totally kooky with other commitments. I know I am lucky because after a lifetime of fulltime work I now only teach part time. I consider it the biggest gift ever. When I finally made the leap- 2 years ago-I told myself to treat my painting as a job- with hours so that it can never be taken away. It's funny how people can think you can drop the painting time, but never the "real job." In teaching, we map curriculum. One tool teachers use is the essential question. So with Richard's help I developed my own essential question. Anytime someone asks for my time (that would take away from painting time) I ask myself "Is it good for the painting?" If the answer is no, that's it. It makes it easier. (I sound pretty rough, eh?)
A good resource for this habit/practice is the excellent book by Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit.