Thoughts About the Art Life
"Winter Sanctuary", Amy Evans, oil
I have been challenged to think about what was the best thing I did for my art career in 2009. I have accomplished a lot this year. I had a piece accepted in the American Impressionist Society national juried show, I had two pieces accepted in the Women Artists of the West Show, a piece accepted in the Plein Air Artists of Colorado show, was invited to participate in Nomadas del Artes again, and I was juried into 3 plein air events. I have two new galleries representing my work.
Those are all fantastic achievements, but the best thing I have done this year was to accept Lori Woodward's challenge to paint 20 hrs per week. I was surprised to discover that I often surpassed those hours. It made me focus on painting and it also gave me new subject matter as well as formats to explore. I believe that I am producing stronger work because of this challenge.
What will 2010 bring? My word of the year is "Change". Stay tuned.
Here are a couple of my paintings done during week 1 of the 20 hr a week challenge....
Some of you have been reading all the twittering about the 20 hr per week painting challenge. Lori W., an artist who twitters began this challenge to artists last week. I thought it would be a good exercise for me, so I accepted the challenge and did 20hrs + this past week. What have I learned thus far?
Discipline in time management is the number one thing. I have put the painting first, then the rest of life stuff. Sometimes that is hard because a lot of people don't think of my art time as work. If I had a "real" job then folks would be more careful when interrupting my work. They would hesitate before asking me to spend my work time doing other tasks. I often have to explain that this is my real job, and what looks like play is real work. Mentioning that I was part of a challenge helped this week.
I am also focusing more on my work and not letting other things interrupt, such as phone calls, etc...It helps when I am out in my big studio, courtesy of Mother Nature.
Another thing I am learning is not to sweat the small stuff...just paint for the joy and the experience it brings. Each time I put paint on the canvas I am learning something about how I see things. Also practice helps my work improve...sometimes it is a struggle...especially when I am trying to move forward.
If you haven't tried the 20 hr a week challenge, I encourage you to give it a shot. What have you got to lose?