Sunday, January 31, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
First, find a place to paint where materials can be left out and ready to be used. Such a simple thing makes a world of difference on mentally finding time to work at your art. If you have to move your art materials every time a meal is to be served you will quickly quit painting.
Second, let your family know how important this is to you and that you want to set up business hours for working. If they care about you your needs will be important to them. Communication is a priority here. Speak up! Don't buy into the guilt of doing for yourself before others. After all, it's only for a couple hours out of the whole week. The earth wont stop rotating because you want a couple hours a week for yourself.
Third, treat your hours in your studio as business time. No personal calls, no cooking, no running errands, etc. Even if it's only 2 hours a week. They are your hours...keep them and use them.
Four, have more than one project going at different stages in the creative process. This way when you enter the studio there will be something to do that fits your immediate emotional makeup and time frame for working, albeit it may only be 15 minutes. If you don't "feel" like painting then gather items and set up a still life, do some thumbnails, check through references, plan a painting trip, read that art article you set aside a month ago. It all counts towards your business hours.
Finding time to paint is really not that difficult. What is difficult is giving yourself permission to do it and then sticking with it.
This said I must add that I do not in any way consider myself a photographer. Excellent well composed reference shots are my goal, not award winning photographs.
Currently, it's winter and I am looking at my warm weather photos from last year and visualizing some of the paintings I would like to do in the coming season. This visualizing stirs my creative juices and keeps me excited about the season to come. I'm already planning on a 30x40" that I want to do come spring from on top of a hill overlooking a marshy pond with a woodsy background. I've found that some of my best work comes from those pieces I've mentally visualized for months prior to ever picking up a brush. I go there now in winter to see the abstracted view of the scene, ie: the evident contrasts between light snow and dark vegetation areas. This simplifies and makes more obvious the shapes to be added into my painting when later in the year everything is all "green".
When working from photos, I never "copy". I use the photos as references while establishing the painting but normally put the photos away once I'm into the painting process. When in the studio, I want to create a painting, in other words, express my feeling about a place not copy it. I already have a copy....the photograph.
Monday, January 25, 2010
I paint often on the property of a large local farm that offers varied natural, tilled and pastoral scenes. Working in the winter is, to me, the most rewarding time to record abstracted shapes and value contrasts. So much easier to identify than when everything in the landscape is green. I find the evident juxtapositioning of line and shapes thoroughly exciting.