As much as I love to paint, sometimes its just so hard to find the time to get it done. This has been my challenge this past few months. between work and the kids pick-ups and drop-offs and the requirements of blissful domesticity, when is there time to carve out my preferred 3-8 hours of play, I mean paint-time? But I need this time. This is my reconnect-to-me time. My mental break time. My healing time. So after a few weeks of walking wistfully by my paintings I decided it was time to stop pining and start painting so I've made a few conscious changes to my life and mindset.
1. It's not pretty but it's accessible...
I've transformed a tiny desk in my bedroom into a make shift 'art studio'. Yes, my whole family is horrified. I'm a messy artist! I do so envy those beautiful art studios I've seen online with every bottle of paint so neatly lined up and colour coordinated, but I'm afraid that's just not me! My paints are everywhere! As are my canvasses, collage papers, brushes and random etchers and stamps and a wide variety of hoarded materials that will be used at some point. Right now as I type, I'm staring at a veritable artist volcano erupting all over this tiny space. There are tiny canvases (not my favs but...) and many tiny bottles of paint and tiny brushes too. The point is that if I'm too weary to make it to my actual studio space, I can sit at my mini studio and get in some much needed play time.
2. I squeeze it in wherever and whenever I can.
Get your minds out of the gutter! I mean painting time! I've figured out that I often have a few choice moments in the morning between racing the kids off to school and racing me off to work. I used to think, not enough time. Why start? You can't get anything done in such a short space of time. But what I've found recently is that as soon as I look at my WIPs (works in progress) I instantly see things I want to do. My paintings speak to me and suggest, do this or do that. In the past I'd say yes, I will when I have time. Now I just do it. I don't postpone or delay. I thumb my nose at delayed gratification. I want to paint now. And I do. Those stolen morning moments are never long enough, but they are precious! We share a brief intense interlude. Sometimes there's magic. Other times its just a nice intimate visit. Either way we relate. We get to know each other better and ultimately we make progress towards our eventual goal; one little step at a time. Which is how I arrived at...
3. A little bit of this and a little bit of that.
Up till now I'd convinced myself that unless every painting session resulted in huge progress I wouldn't be happy. But here's the truth. I usually have a minimum of three paintings that I'm working on at any one time, all at different stages of done-ness. Some require just a tweak others need a bit more work but all of them need something to get them to completion. My job is to listen closely and respond confidently. After all, I paint intuitively. I can't mess it up! So sometimes the request is for some collage. Sometimes its for a quick smear and a spritz. other times, a little spray paint or some stamping. Sometimes they all ask for something and other times just one of them is being really demanding. My job is to give to each what they need before my Cinderella moment when work calls. And the best part is when we rendezvous the next day I get to see what we created together and hear the next whispered request. It's never dull! Our time together is intense and precious and always, always fruitful. I leave for work a much happier therapist than I would have been. Having given some attention to my need I'm well primed to happily meet the needs of others.