A number of people have recently asked me incredulously: “But how do you find the time to paint??”
It’s actually not an unreasonable question - my youngest (of three children) is only two years old and I have limited childcare and, therefore, limited time to do what I want or need to do without the distraction of the “terrible twos”! I’m forever rushing around from one school run to the next, and making choices how to use my precious “free” time: do I cook a nutritious meal (that no doubt they’ll refuse to eat!), do I sort out the never ending chaos in the kitchen, do I get my hair cut, pay the bills and do admin, or... do I paint?
Little and Often...
Quite often, I choose to paint. But I have to snatch brief opportunities for studio time and make the most of every moment. My studio is at one end of the house, near the kitchen, so after 20-30 minutes of playing with paint, I might quickly run and empty the dishwasher! Then, I will flit back and paint some more, before sorting some laundry and then jumping in the car to pick the other kids up from school. I might pop in to the studio again to check on things whilst the dinner is in the oven and maybe, if I’m not too exhausted, I’ll have an evening painting session too. It really is a back and forth affair with not a lot of time for leisurely creative contemplation
Working in a Series...
I’m preparing for a large art fair in the autumn and currently have 16 paintings of various sizes on the go. The little and often approach to a series means that I don’t need to watch paint dry. I work in layers and I can switch between paintings quickly and easily, making my studio practise much more effective.
The Golden 30 minutes...
The first 30 minutes of each session working on a painting is where the gold is. There is a burst of creativity which, when unleashed onto a painting can sometimes really take it to another level. For me, spending many concentrated hours on one activity can lead to creative fatigue and an overworked, fiddly painting. Working in short bursts keeps the freshness and energy in an artwork.
I know what I want to achieve and why - I am working hard to restart a career doing what I love; something completely aligned with who I am. That gives me the motivation to juggle my time in this seemingly chaotic way.
Of course, I can’t get as much done as I want to and my kitchen is far from an Instagram-worthy state. But I’m doing something, I’m moving forward and I’m making art 😊.
© Copyright 2019 Kasia Clarke