What is it artists do with their time? Have you ever wondered? Being an artist myself hasn’t stopped me from wondering this about other artists. Our work is always so wildly different and often we are different types of people seemingly without much in common… so what is it they do?
I start a studio session with ‘tuning in’, spending time with all the paintings under way and playing with ideas in my sketchbook journal - my Creating for Happiness practice. The first paint applied is in my sketchbook. I’ve already chosen a theme for the week so I know how to start. It’s when I see what appears on the page that surprise happens.
Then it’s time to tamp down the fear/anxiety/excitement (I’m never sure which) that seems to walk hand in hand with creating, and splash some paint around outside my sketchbook - on my boards. (Sometimes I literally splash paint around and it always ends badly - artists need to exercise discernment!)
I usually work on a few boards at a time. I often used to end up focussing on one painting, the one that attracts the most attention, good or bad. Recently however, I’ve increased the number of boards I’m working on at once and it seems to be reducing the compulsion to focus on a single one which is great. Too much attention early on in the process usually leads to a stifled composition. Working on 7 at once is the most I’ve done but I’m looking forward to trying 10 at once when I get enough boards ready.
I do a few hours of painting and then I need a break. Painting is mentally taxing, one decision after another, and taking breaks is essential. If I have more than these few hours in the studio I will switch to doing some admin or the (eternal!) website fixes I have to do. (I’m still not finished fixing my site! So much has gone wrong with it these past few months I can’t quite believe it.)
So do other artists do the same? Or am I unique?! I will probably never truly know because once another person enters a studio all changes - mentally, creatively, even physically (people take up space!). But I did get an nice insight into another artists studio practice recently when I watched this studio video by Megan Chapman.
I’m wondering if we artists might be very alike after all as she really nails in my book. (She takes a moment to wind up in this video so persevere.) I’m also wondering if I made a regular studio video would you be interested in watching it? Please let me know in the comments below.
The painting shown is "Nurtured necessities" hanging in my studio. Contact me to express interest or to purchase.