A few weeks ago I was showing my studio to an elderly friend of mine who commented, “How do you find time to paint all these pictures?” Now this woman has been a professional artist all her life, including many years as a commercial artist so I was a bit puzzled by her remark. This reminded me of a situation a few weeks before then. I was at a picnic with a group of friends. They were sitting around talking about all their favorite shows, how they had downloaded several years worth of episodes. Interestingly enough, I hadn’t watched any of the shows. Ever. Not one episode.
So back to the question of how I produce so many paintings. I guess I just work at it. It’s all about priorities. I don’t have any more time than anyone else, probably less considering my day job as director of a multi-discipline arts center with some real crazy hours. But this is just what I do. It’s all about priorities. Yes, I watch the news and might get sucked into Jeopardy or Antiques Roadshow, but mostly if I’m not painting, I’m reading or working outside. I can usually squeeze in 15 or 20 hours per week which is the equivalent of a part-time job. Even if I get only one painting done a week, that is still 52 per year. Usually way more depending upon the size and complexity of the works. Not all paintings are the same quality and some are just sketches. A plein air painting may only take a couple of hours before the light changes. And I may work on it a bit more in the studio. Some are just studies. Some are more finished pieces.
So my usual reply to people who say they don’t have time to paint (or learn a musical instrument, read a novel, write a novel, etc.) is, “You can always make time for the things that are important to you.”
My question to you, is, “What are your priorities?” Make the time for you.