Sometimes I pose rhetorical questions. This is not one of them. I really want to know how you do it — “it” being the process of art.
I contemplate this question on a daily basis. Each morning as I come downstairs to my studio I look at all the projects I have going on, think about all the art lessons I’m studying, gaze upon the different art areas I’ve created, and I wonder what I should do and how I should go about getting it all done.
I’m rambling. I do that a lot, especially when I can’t pin something down. The point I’m getting at is that art is a world filled with possibilities. So how do we choose? Do we find one comfortable little niche and stay there for a while? Or do we bounce from one medium to another, dabbling in this and that, trying lots of different things?
I’ve approached my art from both directions. Neither has been quite right for me. Lately I’ve tried to find a sort of compromise between doing it all and focusing on one thing. It seemed to work for a while, but somehow I’ve ended up feeling more scattered and disorganized than ever before.
I love oil painting, but I’ve also come to enjoy watercolor. Despite my problems with acrylics, I’d still like to do more pourings. I love graphite drawing. I want to do a bit of “warm-up practice” before Inktober arrives.
I want to continue working on portraits, but I recognize myself as a landscape artist first and foremost. And what about still life painting? Figure drawing? When? How? I don’t know, so that’s why I’m asking that question: How do YOU do it?
Do you work on a single project at a time? Or do you usually have a number of different drawings, paintings, or other art projects in the works at any moment? Do you stay with a favorite, preferred medium? Or do you choose and use different ones for different projects? If you’re striving to improve a particular skill, learn a specific technique, or try a different genre — such as portrait painting or figure drawing — do you focus exclusively on that until you feel you’ve mastered it? Or do you find yourself studying different topics at the same time?
Do you have any unbreakable rules for your art time? For most of the summer, as an example, I began each day with a watercolor warm-up before moving on to other projects.
Lately, though, I’ve been scheduling my art time differently, choosing to focus on a different medium each day. One day I’ll do nothing but oils, working on several different canvases, reading about oil painting techniques, and working to improve those skills. Another day, I’ll spend my time playing with my watercolors — watercolor portraits, landscapes, exercises, color studies. Yet another day I’ll focus on drawing skills. I’ll visit Quickposes to do gesture drawings, read about drawing landscapes in graphite, go over basic drawing skills, draw portraits and more.
Some days are just art days. I read about the elements of art, visit online art museums, read art history, listen to lectures about great works of art. I think there’s value to be found in all of these activities.
But the problem is, I can’t do it all, all at once.
So, tell me, please, how do you do it? Do you grab time here and there when you can and work on whatever strikes your fancy? Do you plan your art time?
I really want to know! I hope you’ll take a moment to comment below and share a few thoughts about how you organize your time and your art!