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Old 02-24-2012, 01:41 PM
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chewie chewie is offline
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starting and stopping

after reading for 2 hours on harleys thread, I thought long and hard about some things I struggle with. one huge one, probably the worst, most awful thing of all is that I do not 'art' as much as I'd like. i think about it, read about it, dream about it, but the nitty gritty puttin-in-the-time? not so much.

as in, I avoid the studio. now, I am so blessed its crazy--I do not have to have a day job, my hubs supports me. (I do work 2 months out of the fall, but that's it) I have a studio that I designed and he built for me inside our home, exactly what I asked for. its FILLED with my coolest of fun things, materials, supplies, you name it. and I'm as healthy as a horse. and with all this, I still avoid the studio for long stretches. I must be nuts, right??

but today I came to the solid fact that I do that because STOPPING my work is horrible. as in, to go cook supper, or do go some town chore I need to, to go milk the goat. all of which I really do not mind doing but stopping the art to do so is awful!! in fact, I love the goats, the horses, and love to provide my family with a home cooked supper that's healthy and tasty.

sooo, how to work around this mess?? i just do not know. allow myself Xamt of time for the studio, like set hours? that's not always possible, but I could try it for some of the time maybe. other than that, I'm drawing a blank--literally! anybody else deal with this??
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:46 AM
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Re: starting and stopping

Oh, believe me, I think everyone has the same gripe. Losing focus and intensity is a common problem. It is like writer's block.
About the only way around it is to become even more busy and motivated. I think it is because we artists rarely (if ever) work in a group where there are more motivating factors like peer pressure, deadlines, or bosses. You have to rely only on yourself, so you need to have a "fire in the belly," and frankly, an inflated ego so that you are not easily turned from your goal. Selfishness is a good thing. You need to develop your mind, your discipline, and your tenacity. People give up easily on art-- probably because making a living at it is fairly uncertain.

To a casual observer, art is fun and games, and a hobby, like putting jigsaw puzzles together. Serious artists have to be serious about art. How do you do it? How do you get serious?

My answer is consistently to treat it as though it is a "real" job. A calender or schedule chart or book is your best friend.

Always act as though doing your art is commission, or desperately required by someone, and you have an eager client waiting for a finished product.

Spend some time doing research and development. Make a cost/time analysis, giving yourself a deadline on each project. Gather all the materials for the project, price them out. Break down the steps needed to do the project and assign dates to these steps.

Make scheduled of the steps of work. If you plan on working 4-5 days a week, or 7, then schedule out what you will be doing, down to the quarter hour, then stick with that.

A wise planner said to me once that you should have at least 3 projects going on at all times. While one piece is not being worked on, you should work on another in a "round robin" style. This way, you continuously output pieces. You can also have more than 3 pieces going at the same time. You can actually devote the day to simply doing the initial drawings. I personally like to stagger the work so you are on different steps at different times so when you are sick of painting you can do R&D on an upcoming project. (If you paint, you need to set up 3 easels).

There are also a ton of art business related jobs required of a selling artist. There's the blog, the website, the writing letters, and getting a show or exhibit together. You also need to meet local gallery owners and keep friendships going. Lunch or a phone call is also "billable time" in the real world.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:58 PM
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Re: starting and stopping

whoa, that's some post! I really like this
Quote:
Always act as though doing your art is commission, or desperately required by someone, and you have an eager client waiting for a finished product.


so, I've never gotten into the groove of more than a couple at a time at most, and usually that was one pretty much done, just simmering to see any final things, and one I'm working on pretty steady. that is something I read about allll the time, but the idea of it makes me almost panic! like trying to juggle a dozen eggs! but, its something heard often enough I really should put it to use a few times at least, to see if it works for me.

you gave me tons to mill over. thank you!
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:57 PM
brusher brusher is offline
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Re: starting and stopping

Chewie:
CRLarkin gave some excellent tips and advice! Sounds like daily structure and planning (a scheduled time to paint) would really help you, at least for a start.
What helped me is using a timer and making sure to paint 15-30 min. every day, eventually 1 hr. a day (working full-time, it's something that does need some guidance for discipline. There are 1000 reasons to avoid painting! )
It does feel bad to have to stop, if you seem to be on a roll. I found out that the other side of the coin, though, is there are advantages to stopping and starting - for example, I will see the painting in progress the next morning in a different diffuse light (not as bright) and it will become very easy to solve tonal issues that I didn't even see the night before, or know what was wrong! Also, just yesterday I saw the painting when I got up and noticed a very bad perspective problem that I never did before. It actually helps to "sleep on it" and take a break, to look at it with a fresh eye the next day. It really heightens the learning experience-side of painting, and helps to take away the "preciousness" and worries - if you make a mistake, you can simply spot it and correct it the next day. It teaches that no painting is ever "ruined", you can always come back and make it work.
And definitely enjoy your other activities, that are creative also; if you can do just a "little" painting every day, it will help your discipline and just establish a consistent habit that will stay with you.
Cathy
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:01 PM
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Re: starting and stopping

Chewie, don't take offense, but I also thought about this: according to you, you have what most artists need and dream of, and that is a person who is paying your expenses for you. You have a great studio. You have all the things you need. You are squandering something. I think you recognize that, or you would not have written that post.

Now-- don't think this is silly, but my suggestion is for you to actually go out and get a job (or do volunteer work) and restrict your time doing art. This may seem daffy, but it would force you into making good decisions about your time.

I suggest putting yourself out of your comfort zone. It isn't working. (You know this). Challenge yourself.

I have learned that when people live in "soft" situations they fight less for the things they need or want. The most successful people in life are those who have been cut off from the comforts of life, and who must create the will to strive and survive. Yes, there are the "Richie-Rich" bunch, but I am talking about the "Steve Jobs" of the world.

Consider this.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:53 PM
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Re: starting and stopping

How does she not have a job? She takes care of the home and family and animals to boot. I'll bet you money, like most stay at homes, she technically works more hours then people who have outside jobs.
I don't know how anyone who does all that has any time. Just making a home cooked meal everyday is time consuming.
I don't think it's fair to call her life "soft" or assume that people who have the ability to afford to buy things aren't living life to it's fullest or have no hurdles or crosses to bear.

Chewie, I like making home cooked meals and all that too but I insist on a break. On Fridays, I have fend for yourself Friday (I refuse to cook on Friday, by that time there's leftovers to eat) and on Saturdays we go out for dinner. On days when I'm busy I do stir-fries since they're so quick. I love stir fries.
Love your website by the way and your studio tour. I was in South Dakota in September and fell in love with it. The quality of light there and the landscape itself is gorgeous.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:01 AM
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Re: starting and stopping

Sorry then. I do all that, have a job where I work 8-10 hours a day, and also do my art. I must not understand the lives of people who do not need to work.

I am just saying that if she restricts her time even more, she may make time for her work a priority.

I knew that there would be objections to my post. Any time you tell anyone anything, there is always someone who will feel irate. It is a fact of life, I guess.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:12 AM
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Re: starting and stopping

Having set studio hours is important even if you don't paint . Spending time in your studio on a regular basis,at the same time sets the tone. If you have no burning passion to create perhaps you can accept that your interests and needs are elsehere and stop giving yourself a guilt trip. In the meantime why not enjoy your studio as a refuge , a place to play.rest,plan,journal,read,meditate or listen to podcasts about art/artists or poetry.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:35 PM
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Re: starting and stopping

I fully understand what use her name is getting at, and have no offense from it. its come to my own attention that in the fall when I do have my seasonal job, I am amazed at how much I get done on top of that job, which is a real killer.

by no means are we well off, in fact, that's pretty funny. a job wouldn't be a bad idea, but we are far from town and i've gone that route before. the seasonal job is 1.5 miles from home, so it works. the town jobs just never work out, hubs wants me home as well.

part of it is there is always SO much to get done here, that I always think 'just that chore' or 'just another half hour' and then its dark, i'm bushed and the day is done. when I get studio time in, I almost feel like i was sneaky! I have a need to create, that's not the problem, its feeling like I have to sneak it in. and that horrible feeling of having to stop, that's the worst of all!! then I put off my other duties, which then pile up and are a real mess the next day. oi!

i am working towards having my stuff done, at least done enough, by 1pm, so I have a few hours alone til the kids come home again. they are teens, so once we do our 'how was your day', they grab a bite and hide in their rooms, so i can either spend a bit more studio time, or make supper early and take a bit of studio time after when everyone else is busy with their own doings. that's the time of day that I really enjoy just reading an art book, sipping tea, watching art dvd's, etc. my studio is really REALLY my sancuary, that part is for certain!

thank you for your thoughts, and that gallery 9 in ne., I think I had been asked to stop there. ever been to halsey, user? seems a coupla gals there told me to come to gallery 9.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:55 AM
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Re: starting and stopping

So maybe the trick is doing very small projects that are okay to stop or start. I restarted doing hand embroidery for that reason, so the times I can't spend too long in the studio I at least do my art embroidery off and on, or sketchbook work. Wonderful though to have a quiet space (sanctuary) of one's own.
all the best
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:13 PM
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cuttineagle cuttineagle is offline
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Re: starting and stopping

from personal experience, when being busy (having a FT job) and having all of the other things to do beside that...it makes me challenge myself and so many times I am amazed how much I get done. When having lots of spare time I get kinda lazy and feel no push/rush..I get done less. funny, but that`s how it is for me. But also it depends, sometimes I am crazy about painting, sometimes don`t feel like to create at all and even if I try it doesn`t go well. 1 thing I don`t like to do is start creating when having only 2 hours or less for it on that day, I can`t focus, I`m just staring at the clock all the time.
It is really a good idea think of the art piece as a commission (even if it isn`t)and convince yourself there is a deadline for it and it simply has to be done till then.

Last edited by cuttineagle : 03-01-2012 at 02:16 PM.

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