Friday, November 21, 2008
Getting It Done
I laughed when I read Robert Genn's letter today. Robert Genn is an artist who publishes an e-letter a couple of times a week known as The Painter's Keys. It's a rather brilliant thing he's doing, in my opinion. He's very generous about sharing these letters - it is a free subscription. Today's letter was called Power Hour, and it's about, hey, organizing oneself to produce work consistently.
This whole discussion is one that comes up a lot among artists. We have a really great cop-out when we don't produce - that whole artist's mystique thing again. It seems we're allowed to say we weren't inspired, or we have artist's block, and that's acceptable. Am I making anyone mad yet? The bottom line is, when an artist is a professional (as in derives a portion of income from painting) he or she *has* to produce. Okay, yes, there are extenuating circumstances, but a lot of time (though I really hate to borrow from Nike) we have to just do it!
I know the last couple of nights, had I not committed to doing this blog and painting a day, I wouldn't have touched my brushes. I surely wasn't "inspired." Deadlines and accountability are surprisingly good motivators!
Anyway...I'll stop my rambling. I'm writing this at 9:41 AM, and will come back and finish the post when I actually have a painting to go along with it! But here's a quote from Mr. Genns's letter that made me laugh because it really touched home:
"Seemingly stubborn and limiting, artists often report they don't do TV, card games or other frivolities. Surprisingly, many don't put much emphasis on food. Some, particularly those with wider responsibilities, sacrifice sleep."
That sounds about right!
Okay...8:54pm now, and I'm adding the painting to this. This is Tony, a draught cross gelding owned by my friend, fine art photographer Juliet Harrison, and I was working from one of her favourite photos of him. I've always wanted to do a series of paintings on "horses being bad", and another friend suggested I do some for this daily painting project. So Tony here, chewing on the crossties, is officially the first! This is 5 x 7 oil on Raymar, using a limited palette.
Tomorrow I'm off to a show, and after some initial setup tonight, I realized I won't be able to work while I'm there. That means I'll be under the gun tomorrow night to get my painting done! I have another "horses being bad" painting in mind, so maybe I'll try that!