I’m not normally one who allows myself to be pinned down when it comes to my art. I’m a rambler. I paint when the mood hits me. I move from project to project and from medium to medium. Today I may pull out the oils, tomorrow I might sit and do a little spinning. I may take a day off and then sit at the loom for a while and perhaps also take a turn in front of the easel where my pastels are set up.
But I have learned I’m a whole lot more productive when I know I have promised someone I’m going to do something. Like the Northern Neck Plein Air Group. Every Thursday (except for the month of August when it was just dangerously hot and a couple of overly rainy days) since April, I’ve gone outside somewhere each week and painted with at least one other person. And while many of those paintings were pure garbage (I have a growing stack of those up on a shelf in the studio), I’ve been pretty pleased with several and I’ve noticed that my brush control and my compositions have improved for the most part. And that has transferred into my pastel work (although the methods are somewhat different).
Now that I’m committing to having work on display at the Studio Gallery of the Rappahannock Art League, I also am keenly aware I need work waiting in the wings should items sell and have enough on hand to rotate work out on a quarterly basis if it doesn’t.
So, I need to really start looking at this as my J.O.B. and put in the hours in front of the easel. The hardest part for me is getting there. Once a brush or a pastel stick is in my hand I’m golden and hours just disappear for me and art appears.
I need a routine and I need to block out committed work time on the calendar and start saying no to some things. Now, I don’t want to say no to my professional and artistic connections, they are part of the marketing process, frankly. I need to start saying no to the television, the too many hours I mess around on Facebook and Pinterest and those novels I like to read. Those are my biggest time wasters.
I wonder what would happen if I gave up TV for 31 days? That’s a lot of hours I could be doing something productive. Oddly enough, that is a scarier thought than just making myself go into the studio for a few hours every morning for 31 days.