Sunday, October 18, 2009

Daily Painting Practice - Can artists keep schedules?

I have started a new routine. Yes I know, how many new routines can one artist begin?  It's a silly question, Obviously it takes as many as  is needed until I find the one that works. 

For years I have read about artists and their routines. They vary their approach to productivity as much as they do their style of painting.  Some get up early and are at the easel painting by 6:00 AM each morning, like clock work. Others  begin  more slowly,  they ease into the day, first doing a morning sketch routine to limber up. Others work late into the night needing the world to be quiet in order to be productive. Some approach art like a nine to five job.    

I have always had a hard time with productivity. So recently my daughter helped me with a new method and work schedule that seems to be a good fit.   For me coming up with a new routine is like shopping for  new shoes. I  know what I need but can only tell if I like it if I can see it and wear it for a while.

My main goal is produce one new painting each week. ( Completed by Sunday no matter what size!)  I also needed  to organize and prioritize my compositions. My approach needs to fit a purpose. I have deadlines and commitments,  ... galleries, shows, competitions, works in a series,  large works, small works.  The business side of art demands focus..... Did I actually say that out loud?

click on image to enlarge the painting
Northwoods series Number ??
work in progress
oil on canvas

Well it's Sunday night and I was supposed to have this painting completed.  I still have more to do to it, I'm getting close...  but I missed my deadline. So here's my problem, I am sticking with my schedule and will  complete next week's painting next Sunday, but I will need to make time to finish this one also. 

One of the hardest things I am learning about being an artist is the self discipline needed to produce good work and to keep producing it. So it's one more cup of tea and back to the studio. So much art so little time!



René PleinAir said...

Looks great, but I don't know if it's gonna work.

For me painting is like a journey not to reach a destination but the journey itself.

Peter Yesis said...

Hey Rene-
You are right about art being a journey. It is a great daily adventure... No amount of organizing should get in the way of that.
Paint on!

Debbie said...

Good luck with your new routine, I hope it works for you. You've also inspired me to get myself more organized!

Amy Mann said...

I like getting your posts. Your goal in your new routine is a good one, but obviously you need flexibility also. I like this painting - the one thing I would change is the regularity of the trees going across the background.

Darren Maurer said...

Why can't we just "be"?

Anonymous said...

Routines are great, but a week might be too little, if you're painting larger works. I like your painting, by the way! Its very calming.

Kay said...

There's always time to finish a painting (somewhere, even if it is not when you want it) but often the starting is delayed for lack of time. Stick with the new schedule. You might even inspire me to write one out for my terribly ill-disciplined self!

I have only just found your blog, via Mike Bailey's blog. Thanks for sharing!

BTW, I like the trees in the top picture of the Northwoods No 2 underpainting. Worth revisiting perhaps?