|"The Essence of Summer", acrylic, 10" x 8"|
Last week, I wrote how important it is to make time for art. I wrote about how frustrated I got when my life changed and I had less time to be creative. Now, I have scheduled regular time to paint and felt. Every Wednesday (and if possible also on Friday) evening, I go to my studio to paint for two hours. I also take time to be creative on Sundays, when I usually spent the afternoon felting while meeting friends. Every second Wednesday, when I enjoy a day off, I also spend time in my studio or painting with friends.
If you have a busy schedule and do not schedule time for your hobbies, you will always find a reason why something else needs to be done first. Chores are never ending. It is up to you to define your priorities. You might say, that creating something when you are not in the mood is impossible. Years ago, I would have agreed with you. Now, if I am absolutely not in the mood to work on a certain painting, I start something new, pick up a pencil and draw, or grab my felting equipment. Once I get started I usually forget all about my resistance. I completely lose track of time and just go with it. That’s why my Wednesday night painting sessions usually last longer than the two hours.
|“Indian Summer at Petrie Island”, acrylic, 12” x 9”|
To give you an example of how painting changes my mood, I will tell you about my painting day at Petrie Island last year in early November. My friends Janis, Hélène, and I had decided to make the most of the fantastic late fall weather and agreed to meet at Petrie Island for some plein air painting. I had lots going on at the time and so I only went out to take some photos and be with my friends. However, when I saw my friends painting, I did not just want to sit around. Once I started painting, I was happy to be out in nature and got absorbed in my surroundings and the process of putting the image on my canvas. The result is “Indian Summer at Petrie Island”, a 12” x 9” acrylic painting that I created with painting knives on a black canvas. It was an interesting experience. I usually use oil paints for painting outdoors, but as I was not in a mood to paint when I went out, I had just taken a few tubes of acrylic paint in case I would change my mind. I am glad I did. It was a lovely day, and I actually forgot about everything else going on in my life.
I encourage you to give it a try. It might be hard to start this in a month like December when parties and family gatherings, holiday shopping and preparations take a lot of our time, but on the other hand why wait? There will always be times when it is hard to stick to your plan. Maybe, creating handmade Christmas gifts can be the first step. Or you might consider just doodling for five or ten minutes every day. The goal is not to create a masterpiece but to let your creativity flow to reduce some stress and have fun.
If you want to wait until the new year, I will start January again with my own creativity challenge. During the month of January, I will keep practicing my drawing, felting, and painting skills by creating art every day. I will not focus on creating finished artworks. Some might be just sketches, some might even be failures, but all of them will be a learning experience. I will publish my creations every week and journal about my challenges, surprises, successes and frustrations. Hopefully, this will inspire you also to bring more creativity to your life.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you need help to develop a skill. If I cannot help you, I will make sure to find a fellow artist who can.