Sunday, November 4, 2012

It was a Quiet Day at Lake Wo--- No, Oops, I meant at Portland Saturday Market

A couple of views at Portland Saturday Market yesterday, November 3, 2012.  At the top are a few customers checking out the food court a little before the lunchtime crowd hit.  And below that are two hard-working PSM artists removing a few of the beautiful autumn leaves from the aisles.  I think they were too pretty to remove, but they enjoyed sweeping them nevertheless.  It was a quiet day, so we artists/vendors got to visit with each other a bit, something we often don't get to do.  It was a very pleasant day, despite not a whole lot of people roaming the aisles.  Those who were there were intent on finding just the right gift or treat for themselves, though.  It's a nice, kind of slow time to come down if you don't necessarily like the hustle and bustle that go on most of the year down there.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Painter\'s Keys - A community for artistsI've mentioned this link many, many times in my blog and elsewhere, and I can't say enough good about it.  It's a twice-weekly newsletter I receive, and it's all about art, creating art, viewing art, discussing art, sometimes discussing life.  Participants can upload their own artwork, make comments on their own or on another's artwork, discuss every aspect of creating art.  If you're at all interested in learning about how painters think, what individual artist's work looks like, how to be creative, how to organize your self-employed workday, etc., I highly recommend you start reading these posts.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Cute Pig Painting I Finished Recently

At the request of a customer, I painted this sweet-looking pig.  The acrylic painting is 11x14" on wood panel.  Several people recently have asked me what the wood paneling looks like from the side, so I shot this pic of it as the painting sat on my easel.  It frames very nicely, doesn't weigh much, and fits into a mat and/or frame just as a painting on paper would.  I like the smooth hard surface for painting as paint flows very nicely on it.  And since I'm such a stickler for detail, it allows me to get into much greater detail on these relatively small paintings that I like to do than I can do on canvas.

Sorry, the original painting has been sold.

A Great Trick to Stay on Task that I Learned Recently

For me, keeping myself working (painting) in my studio (but not working to the point of exhaustion, getting slap-happy,  fooling around, being distracted, finding other things to do, etc.) has always been a difficult matter.  It helped me tremendously when I recently created my studio and work only in it now instead of being inside the house - with all the distractions inherent in working where I live.  But I often found myself working/painting to a point that I wasn't staying focused on the "job" at hand.  Or I would get anxious about a particularly challenging spot in a painting and end up messing things up either in that area or elsewhere.  When I get really anxious about either an area I'm working on or an upcoming next level in the painting, I start to make a lot of stupid moves and often end up with a mess, which I then have to spend a much longer time correcting than if I had stayed focused the entire time.

Well, recently I read a post on Robert Genn's newsletter about using a timer to work in specific 25-minute time blocks on a painting, taking a short break, and then returning for another 25 minutes.  Everyone who commented on his post agreed that there was something perfect about the 25 minutes:  not too short, not too long.  I've always had a timer going when I worked, but I was erratic in the amount of time I set it for, and it ended up not working very well for me.  Plus, at that time, I was also in my house working, which as I've said before, just doesn't promote good work habits.

Well, now, thanks to my trusty timer on my smartphone, I set the timer for 25 minutes, work really efficiently for those 25 minutes, take a five to ten-minute break and do something like a bit of exercise, just move around a bit, go outside and take in some fresh air, have a drink of water, anything but paint.  Then I come back in and do more of the same.  As I have a lot of other work to do besides painting, I make myself paint three hours a day most every day (except weekends).  With this schedule, I'm able to produce a reasonable number of paintings in a month's time.  The rest of the time is spent doing what I'm doing at the moment, posting to my blog, photographing my work, creating listings here and there online, wherever I'm showing them at the time, reading up on what's going on in the world, playing with my granddaughter, visiting with my daughter, etc., etc.

Regarding other work ventures, I would imagine this 25-minute trick would work just as well, too.  I have heard of authors who are using it and are quite happy with it, saying their productivity and quality have improved.  I know it works for me, and it certainly is easy to apply and manageable.  It also, in my case, makes sure that I don't work tooooooo much in a day and end up burning out and not getting much done the rest of the days.