View Full Version : How many hours do you all put in ?

07-08-2005, 02:27 PM
My curiosity overwhelms me ... I am wondering about full time painting/ versus part time relaxation painting... How many of you out there are painting for a living? ... Would love a discussion on this topic! ... I am home full time .. and would love to devote many more hours to painting...The only way to improve is to paint! ...

( if it would only pay for itself ! ) ...How do you balance?

I try to put monies aside for canvas, paints etc... and seem to be doing "okay" by supplementing with other projects..... but would love to put more hours into painting rather than the projects that bring in the money for the paint! :o) ! Comments...?

Wayne Gaudon
07-08-2005, 02:48 PM
My 2 cents.
I have to work to pay the mortgage and bills LOL but I try to paint every day so my average would be between 2 and 4 hours daily as on weekends and hoildays I probably average 4 to 8 hours .. I'm sick I know, but I love it. I do miss days and if I take time for my wife we go and the paints stay home. (But I paint in my mind whenever I am looking at something and not engaged in conversation) :D

I sell on eBay (well, sell is very expressive because of what you do get for them) but it's enough for me to buy more supplies so I can keep learning. I am currently making some larger works to hopefully make an assult on a gallery or two later on but it's tough. Over a 6 month period I have put out 99 percent of what came in (from painting) to painting. You have to be able to afford to throw stuff out or you won't allow yourself to do lots of studies and only study will teach you what you should and should not do. Buy big, paint small. Make your supplies last. Don't make that big pice till you have made a few small ones and worked out all the problems and are happy with it. That way you will have a big saleable piece and not a big piece of dung.

I buy board by bulk, gesso by bulk, paint by bulk. Anything to save a dollar. I gesso all my own boards and that takes time but the savings are worth it. I my my own soap to clean my brushes.
Hope this in someway gives you inspiration to dig deeper. It's such a wonderful feeling to be an artist. Even if I didn't sell a thing I would still paint. I'd use mud and rust if I had to but I would get something down.


07-08-2005, 03:31 PM
For the summer (until Sept) I'm currently working 3 days a week in a gallery and taking on any freelance design work - this is to pay off a particular credit card by Oct so isn't my usual working schedule. So at the moment studio time is at a low point. :( Fortunately summer is my slow time anyway, in terms of my productivity.

Generally I would say I average well over 60 hours per week for my art business. The nice thing about being self-employed though is that you can do that work whenever you want. :) So I can have short days in the studio, etc. But generally I'm working during the day and then doing other work (ie. accounting, letter writing, mailshots) during the evening. I don't distinguish weekends from any other day. My goal now is to try and have one afternoon a week for a cycle adventure (I like going offroading into the woods!).

I have always said: I work far more and far harder as an artist than I ever did in any job. But it's WONDERFUL and I'd never go back!!!!

One thing to remember: if you change to paint fulltime you no longer have a hobby. So be prepared find a new one. :) It's a strange feeling and at first you may find yourself working too much because you're not sure what else to do!


07-08-2005, 03:47 PM
a typical day for me will begin between 4am and 5am. I paint pretty hard until around 7am then rest for a bit. Then around 9am, I paint anywhere from a few more hours to sometimes until 5:00. HOWEVER: Because of the style of painting I do, I cannot work continuously. Most of the time I have several canvasses going on at once but I also have days where I'm in my paint clothes all day (pajamas :p ) but seeming to do more pourings - so I wind up knitting quite a bit while I'm waiting on things to dry (I'm a compulsive knitter). So as you can deduce, its pretty hard for me to say how many hours I paint. I would guestimate 4 to 6 hours daily of just painting time (not including time I have to spend on the business side of things like making calls to galleries/clients/retailers).

I learned from a fellow artist that the only way to make in this business is to work everyday as I would if I were under an employer. I do go through spells where I don't want to paint (and some days I won't), but I try my best to work everyday. Having a studio makes a big difference because my children know that this is my work and they are less likely to interrupt when they are home.

07-08-2005, 06:16 PM
Wayne, Tina, Jeanette... Thanks so much for responding...
Wayne... I hear you when you say you are painting in your mind...
I do that even during conversations(don't tell!) ... :o)
Tina ... interesting point you make ... to find another hobby if you paint full time! Never thought of that aspect... didn't relate burnout with painting...( teaching burnout, yes...) ... :o) ... so I see your point! ...

Jeanette... My studio is my kitchen at the moment... ( I do have the whole basement... but the lighting and atmosphere need help! .. ) ... My kids are grown, and my dh is working from mid August to Mid June... so I have the house to myself days soon! ...
I do find that I have a difficult time "scheduling" painting... it seems to come and go with me... If I am in a mood... I might not paint for a few days... other times I forget to make dinner...and paint thru the late evening hours... and sometimes into the early am... but then I seem to pay for the late hours the next day...
Wondering, when you paint on a schedule... what do you do if the painting just "isn't working" ... ! ? ! I may just have to try a few more canvas at the same time! If one isn't working... I could try another...

Lady Carol
07-09-2005, 10:41 AM
I paint in my spare time. I have a full time job as a scientist and often I bring the scientific thinking home. So I don't have dedicated time to paint. But saying all that, I do paint regularly.

I get commissions and this pays for the supplies. If I am really involved dinner suffers and my husband complains :D

If I do not have enthusiasm for painting, then I don't. My philosophy is why stress myself unnecessarily. Forcing art doesn't work with me. It just becomes a disillusioning mess that gets chucked in the bin.

I also paint in my kitchen. Well it is at the breakfast bar between the kitchen and family room. Excellent lighting and I get the telly to watch. My basement is like yours, not very good lighting and the atmosphere is yuck. My husband wants me to paint at the breakfast bar so it has worked out well. One of these days we will refit the attic as a studio for me.

07-09-2005, 08:44 PM
I too, am a "spare time" painter. I find that when I do sit down to paint, I'll stay at it for 3 or 4 hours at a time. I just paint when the mood strikes, forcing it is not an option for me, I get nothing done that way. :)