In January and February, I painted every day. Seven days a week. Evenings and weekends. I worked ahead very little and at some point each day, I went into my studio and sat down to paint.
And it burned me out. Wait, that’s now what I‘m suppose to say. I’m suppose to say I discovered myself and grew as an artist. And yes, these past few months have also been powerful on the growth front.
But daily painting: When do you do the dishes?
I am a true believer in daily painting. I use it because I need accountability. It’s also teaching me that working in such a focused way kicks up a lot dirt that you then have to learn to deal with for a long term art career. For me some of that dirt looks like studio chaos. It looks like mental chaos. I’m realizing that daily painting isn’t just the hours committed each day to painting, it’s learning to deal with all the things around it.
With daily painting, exercise becomes more important. I would have never guessed that to be true before this experiment. Also, daily studio resets are more important (although I still haven’t really managed to do them.) Being organized is more important. Having a chore schedule outside of the studio and then sticking to it even when I’m tired is more important.
So in March, I’ll still be doing my daily studies, but I’ll also be committed to really looking at the health of the world around my studio. I’ve started some huge studio cleaning projects and plan to focus on exercising.
I want to be an artist as long as my hands can hold a brush. But it can be easy to focus so intently on what’s directly below me- paint, paper, brush- that I forget I have to also maintain the world around me.
What has daily painting taught you outside of the studio? What are you working on maintaining outside painting to help you maintain your studio practice?