Sometimes I suffer from an “art attack” which is the overwhelming feeling of having too many creative ideas at once, and not having enough time to do them.
Yes, it is very frustrating. Of course. But not surprising since I have a full time job. And I have, finally, discovered that nights are for sleeping.
8 days a week
So the sad truth is that nowadays most of my studio days are both fewer and shorter than I really, really want. The result is that I have a multitude of half finished, or just started, works on paper and a pile of canvases in a seemingly never ending process.
Guess I’ll have to ask Santa Claus for 8 days a week and 32 instead of 24 hours a day, so I can do a little more of what I really, really want.
In the meantime I work on my priorities to make the right decisions.
What’s important now
Every day I have to remind myself to stay in the now of my life to avoid being hijacked in the game of fear, competitiveness or letting myself drown in possibilities or being overwhelmed by the heap of unfinished work in my studio.
I try to remind myself that I am never too late for my art.
Over the years I have discovered that what I look at, what I see in front of me, is where my energy goes. So:
Every day I ask myself “What’s important now?” This question forces my mind to consider my priorities each day and take action on them.
Once I have decided that something is important to me, I focus on working on that specific task and put everything else away, out of my sight. This is also the reason my phone is put on flight mode most of the time.
Project management is important to keep focus and get things done!
At the start of this year, I made plans for a 30 day focus on each project. But:
As we all know nothing goes exactly as planned. Plans are important to get where you want, but they sometimes need to be adjusted.
So far this year most of my scheduled painting time didn’t work out the way I was hoping. So to avoid building up frustration and working overload, I chose to downsize my ambitions and therefore declined to exhibit my work this year. At the moment I’m contemplating whether or not to sell some of my latest small works or not…
I do look forward to next month’s vacation, though. Hopefully I’ll have some nice studio time and maybe a visit from the young art student in Malmø, Sweden.
Multi- or mono tasking
As some of you know, I like to work on parallel projects. These days I try hard to encourage myself to focus on what matters most right now. No wonder things take time when you work on several projects at a time. Slowly, slowly the series is coming alive. That’s my way and my choice. I cannot do it any other way.
But painting is not the whole story. As you might remember, I wrote a blog earlier about how time consuming artist life is.
Truth be told, my life is more than day jobs and studio time. I have family and friends. I also need to tend my flowers, play with my cat, relax, read and spend time in nature to stay healthy. If I’m not taking care of myself, I can neither work nor paint – not to mention be a nice person. So I make sure to take care of myself. Every day.
Whenever I go into my studio, my intention is to play and have fun. I like it when the painting session surprises me.
The main thing, I believe, is to keep going and never lose track of what’s important to me. So what is it that I really, really want?
I want to play with colours, push paint around, experiment with line, shape and various techniques and see what’s happening. I want to continue working on my multitude of playful just started works, and take some of my paintings through the messy middle and maybe finish parts of my neverending story of canvases.
Because I love painting!
Ps. Now, please excuse me, I have some colours to mix 😉