Finding Time to Paint

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It is something I hear over and over from students and professional artists alike – I don’t have time to paint!

Why is it we don’t make time to do what we love? Is it lack of motivation, fear, guilt, laziness or not allowing ourselves the luxury?

I think of art as nurturing my soul and self-care. Without it, I am cranky, depressed and just generally not in a good space. 

People have the misconception that artists get to paint all day. If it was that easy and believe you me some days I wish I could just escape into that space. Kind of like going off and reading a novel! 

With my busy schedule that would be a luxury!

I wear many hats to make a living as an artist. A good portion of my time is consumed on computer related tasks. Whether it is marketing, blogging, social media, photo editing, applying for submissions, correspondence, book-work, video editing, website updates, product development – the list goes on! 

Aside from that I also play harp gigs and teach lessons. Right now I am preparing music for a celebration of life and am putting many hours of practice in to learn 3 difficult pieces. I still do some design work and do the estimates and billing and coordinate the schedule for my husband’s clients. 

Making art is my therapy – the only way I can stay sane! 

So if I can fit it in so can you! I know it is hard – we all have a life! 

Here are some things that may help.

Change your mindset – Quit saying you don’t have time! Even in 10 or 15 minutes, you can accomplish something.

Schedule – find the best time in your day and schedule it! Whether this is morning noon or night. Whatever tool you use- block the time off! Treat it as an appointment with yourself

Have a plan! What are you going to work on when you do show up. If it is a large project -chunk it down. As an example, you might prep the canvas one day, paint the background the next, sketch in your subject, paint it in gray scale, add the colour and so on.  Take your process and break it down. Don’t wait for a large block of time – it may never come. 

STOP BROWSING! – You heard me – browsing is a time sucker and a form of procrastination! 

Join a group that meets on a weekly basis to paint so you stay motivated

Take a class/workshop

Set some goals around your art so you have something to aspire to. This could be to make a painting a day, or a week, or create a consistent body of work, or do a series. Whatever gets you excited to get painting! 

Show up and do quick studies to keep your self in practice! (I borrowed this from music practice)

That is what I have been doing – small quick studies. Spending about an hour a day to free my brain from all of the knots from computer land! 

 
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 I have been using the Strathmore Mixed Media pad.

 I will take the keepers and mount them on cradled panels. 

If you need help setting goals and coming up with an action plan to get your most important work done I offer my coaching service.

I look forward to helping you! 

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Patt Scrivener