Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reasons to paint each day, continued; Twins by the Water

9x10 pastel on Uart paper
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.

8 comments:

Leah said...

Word to live by... and you do live by them, my committed and admired friend.

Gary Keimig said...

Hmmm.
Commitment in an artists life is extremely important as long as we don't forget to live.
I have a ton of work [painting] to do so I took this morning off and did a grueling 6 mile hike. O K I called it research. So maybe it counted toward my art??
Like your use of colors.

loriann said...

Thanks so much Leah, my supportive and wonderful friend!

loriann said...

Hi Gary! I am humbled by your visit to my blog. After visiting your blog I see that you too are committed to your work and love it. Yes there is such a thing as balance....and yes a grueling hike to explore the morning light could count as research. have you read any George Inness?

Pam Holnback said...

Loriann, Love the blues and reflections in the water and the warm greens. I'm reading Twyla Tharp' book right now. She's very structured w/ her going to the gym early everyday. And, what a hard worker, all the research, etc. It seems constant and fun for her, and hopefully is for all of us artists, too.

Fernando Pena said...

Loriann, wonderful painting, and wonderful blog, a blog to follow by sure.

Karen said...

Thank you thank you thank you for this post. I have to re-read it, as it means so much to me.
It's funny I used that Tharp book in a class I once taught and I could not understand why the students did not all love the ideas she suggests as much as I did!

(now get to work!) :)

loriann said...

Pam, That book is amazing, don't you think? It seems like structure is the key to getting things done. When you do what you love the fun comes with it:-)


Hi Fernando! Thanks for visiting my blog. Feel free to drop into the conversations and add your piece. I'll go check your blog now.. See ya later!

Hi Karen, my friend, How did I already know you would have that book and love it!? Thank you for your heartfelt comment.