Monday, 22 June 2015

Art at a Snail's Pace

As I look round the studio and reflect on last week I realise that once again I actually got more art done than I thought I had.  That said, most of what I got done was starting things rather than finishing them.  Oh yes, there's a lot of work-in-progress!  But this morning I've decided that that's ok.  What's the rush to get things finished?  For the most part I can set my own timetable; indeed I don't actually need a timetable except where I am taking part in swaps and I want to meet the agreed date for the swap.  I think this need to march on and get things done is a hangover from my previous existence where things had to be done by certain times and where I had project plans that were as long as I am tall.  So that's the past and this is now.  I want to enjoy the process of creating rather than just focus on having the product completed.

I find that I need to have more than one thing on the go partly because I seem to have taken on so much and also because I need to have drying time between layers on paintings.  And of course sometimes I just need to step away from a piece of work and leave it be for a while.

One of the things that I started last week was a free course from Hali Karla called 7 Directions.  This is available from
It's a really interesting approach to creative journaling and one that I intend to use over and over.

This image was the output from Day 1

I'm several weeks behind with the Documented Life Project 2015.  This is a great project with challenges and prompts that are of themselves very creative.

Sometimes though I'm struggling to think what to do or I get started, get the background done and then come to a halt.

As I've said above I want to enjoy the process and not just focus on having completed products and so I've also decided that I'm going to take my time with this.  Some pieces may remain as work-in-progress for a long time.

I noticed that in one of the galleries, I think in London, there is an exhibition of unfinished works.  The article I was reading also went on to talk about how artists decide when a piece is finished.  And so, I've decided that it's ok to have unfinished work and it's ok to go back and tinker with or redo some things on pieces that I might have previously declared as finished.

One thing that I did manage to finish this week was a face. For this exercise (I'm trying to do 100 Faces) I generally don't do any background - I really just want to focus on the face.

So, other than the swap items that I need to have ready to post later this week I'm not going to set any deadlines or work to any timetable.  I'm going to try and paint for at least a little while everyday but if I can't, then I can't.

It's art at a pace that's right for me and one in which I can really enjoy the process of creating.

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