The Everyday Life of a Working Artist

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Finding Time to Paint

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"Resting in the Harbor"
Oil, 11" x 14"
Click here to purchase.

I had a conversation last week with an artist friend who was having a hard time finding time to paint. I empathized with her struggle as a few years ago I found my self in the same dilemma. It was December of 2012 and I hadn't painted in about three weeks. Prior to that, I hadn't painted in two weeks.

At the time I was struggling with my schedule. I was making the transition to working full time as an artist and yet I couldn't seem to find the time to paint. It wasn't until I sat down and looked at my schedule that I recognized that the problem was. Painting wasn't a priority. Of course htat makes no sense if I was an artist!

I was stunned at how many appointments and meetings I had on my calendar that had nothing to do with painting. Somehow I had managed to fill my daily schedule with personal and volunteer obligations. I also was spending a lot of time doing marketing, which is important. But my "career" as a painter hadn't quite become a priority if I wasn't in my studio painting.

That's when I came up  with the idea of "Thirty paintings in 30 days". I figured if I painted every day for 30 days then painting would become a priority and a habit. It worked. Plus, I was lucky enough to find about 200 artists to take the Challenge with me.

I developed new changes to my daily working schedule. I limited all meetings to Fridays. I blocked off the Monday - Thursday "workday" from 9 - 4 for painting. I started Monday Open Studios so other artists could come to my studio and paint with me. And I repeated the Thirty Day Challenge three more times. (FYI, the fourth one will begin on September 1, 2014!)

I also became more organized in my studio and re-organized all of the photos I use as "inspirations" for paintings. It's important to be organized when it comes to painting so you don't have any delays or excuses not to paint! Now when I walk in my studio I can begin a painting within a few minutes. I also added two large video screens to my studio which are great for projecting reference photos.

If you are having problem making time to paint, don't hesitate to schedule painting time on your calendar. Make it a priority and stick to your painting schedule. Painting is addicting, the more you paint the better you get and the more rewarding it is! I appreciate how lucky I am to be an artist. We are truly blessed!

Good luck!

Check out my remodel blog for our beach house in Ventura, Ca. I am teaching workshops at the beach. Come stay and paint with me! I have workshops scheduled in the next twelve months in South Pasadena, Ventura Beach, Newport Beach, Richmond Va, Charlotte NC, and Atlanta, Ga. Click here for more information!

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