Being An Artist and Why Moms Rock

Tonight after we messaged our good nights, I get a message from Mom with a link

6 Ways to Balance Your Day Job
with Being an Artist

It tells of a doctor who also teaches pastel classes and how he combines his work life with making art, in six ways. I’m going to list them here but do read the article for his details. I was so touched by Mom sending me this link and also pretty happy because some of these things I have been figuring out on my own and they’re true! The article discusses these:

1. Do 20- to 30-minute timed studies, without prep work.
2. Always have a palette and painting gear ready to go.
3. Keep painting clothes in the car.
4. Learn to love what’s local.
5. Teach or join a class.
6. Set goals and clear intentions.

1. I used a timer when I quilted both to keep on task and to keep from over-doing and causing injury. Painting, I’m trying to get started sooner, more directly, and do more shorter/smaller paintings. I tend to get too fussy and stopping sooner and staying simpler is a continuing theme.

Sketching in scene at OOMs

2. Gear is in the car and has been for awhile. Recently I moved from an LLBean type tote bag to a backpack and upgraded my tripod. My goal was to simplify my gear – it’s way too easy to bring way too much stuff – to make it easier to go a little distance more easily. The tripod fits into a side pocket of the pack and a couple clips take care of my folding chair. Having it all in the car though means I can stop on the way home or after an errand or I can grab out a sketchbook and small palette and brushes and just go do something. I would add to this: have some duplication of gear if you can so that you don’t have to take everything out of the car if you want to work at home.

3. I don’t keep painting clothes in the car except for big brimmed hat and my hiking boots. My work clothes are pretty casual though and I’d wear them anyway. (I do keep a couple t-shirts in there in case I get called to a current-events type rally/protest)

4. This came up in class today, that you can spend a lot of time driving around looking for places to paint or you can just figure out to paint in your yard and spend the time painting. Although I have painted a little in the front yard lately, I have figured out a few places along my travels and not too far from home to go and paint. I can choose based on light conditions or where I’m going but it saves a lot of time. I figure if Monet could paint a cathedral multiple times I could find something to paint at my local pond or master the geraniums. I do try to take alternate routes when traveling to scout out new places to paint.

5. I can say that I’ve enjoyed each watercolor class I’ve taken locally. I’ve been encouraged and supported and learned stuff. And, even more importantly, it is a commitment to spend time doing this. Side bonus: people think you’re more serious if you say you’re taking a class and that’s ok too.

6. I don’t know if I have set goals exactly but I’m sort of going with – what’s the point of waiting? Do it now.

Bonus: Buy flowers and fruit to paint and use the cats as models. Thanks Mom!

Advertisements

Day Twenty-two, NaPoWriMo

Letter from V.

Another letter from V.
He’s out and about in the town
And sends a drawing of the bridge
Describing the jay blue sky
Arcing above the locals
passing in their work
Ignorant of the red
And gold and greens
That lay, a treasure,
All around them.
The sepia words are so small.
They spill down the page
Flowing with the river
Toward the sea.

Went to the Clark for a little plein air time and to see the last day of the Drawn to Greatness exhibit. Sat up on the hill under a cloudless sky. It was pleasant in just a sweater and a vest but a few times I held onto things due to wind.

Although the day started out all about the birds and hill, inside I visited my favorites from the exhibit and did a little people watching. Last days of exhibits bring out interesting folks looking at stuff!

Day Nineteen, NaPoWriMo

A quote from Vincent that I’ve been chewing on the past few days, ended up this way. The ending isn’t quite there yet methinks.

Deep in snow, walking with cold.
The shining air, stirring around the trees
rearranging the drifts, whistling
on the brown garden stems,
It has always been winter, you might think
it will always be winter
on yet another morning of snowflakes
and white crusted garden and walk.
But as unchanging as that moment
standing in the snowy night,
the heart knows winter will pass
and come again and return once more
after spring and summer and fall
the snow will return, squeak and slush,
but first the green shoots shivering
and the long days of hot blue sky
and the smoky days of fiery leaves.
In each a moment, all is always like this:
the endless tulips, the eternal cornfields,
the brilliant maple at last giving way
to the white and snowy field and
frosted windows, the breath made visible,
and the thought returns that it was always
thus, and our heart will always remember,
a familiar step on the porch step,
welcoming each return in turn.

From the Quote Box

It is something to be deep in the snow in winter, to be deep in the yellow leaves in the autumn, to be deep in the ripe wheat in the summer, to be deep in the grass in the spring. It is something to always be with the mowers and the peasant girls, in summer with the big sky above, in the winter by the black fireplace. And to feel — this has always been so and always will be. — Vincent van Gogh, 1885

TGIF, and for a new book

Molly better hope the book doesn’t fall over on her because it’s big. Really big. It came in a big box stuffed with a lot of crumpled up paper to keep it from moving around. The first handful of pages are double page spreads of paintings… It has a ribbon. It’s beautiful. It’s the US release of the show catalogue from the Melbourne AU exhibit:

Van Gogh and the Seasons

fooling around digitally

Not as welcoming a surface to work on, glass, but when given the opportunity I try to learn more about sketching etc on an iPad. Here was yesterday’s quick “pencil” sketch. I think it was with the 6B setting. Brush, pencil? It’s all software.

Maybe it’s just been a sort of black and white week.

Quotes from Vincent 

Courtesy of The Painter’s Keys

It is something to be deep in the snow in winter, to be deep in the yellow leaves in the autumn, to be deep in the ripe wheat in the summer, to be deep in the grass in the spring. It is something to always be with the mowers and the peasant girls, in summer with the big sky above, in the winter by the black fireplace. And to feel — this has always been so and always will be. — Vincent van Gogh, 1885

and this:

The fisherman knows that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reasons for staying ashore.  — Vincent van Gogh