I have been thinking this morning about how, as artists, we need to be able to find the right sort of schedule for ourselves. Without a boss to set the timetable, it is all too easy to let a few hours or even a whole day slip by without stepping into the studio or craft room.
Today is the morning after the clocks went back, and we all got a whole extra delicious hour. My body, which was not informed of the change, woke up at the same time as usual so I got to spend my extra hour in bed. I used it to have second coffee and read the online papers.
I find that my mornings are a time of relaxation, reading and spending time online. I like to ease myself very, very carefully into the day…………this is probably why my schedule is to start my painting right after lunch, and often work until late. This system suits me and my body clock. And this is quite an important point; if art is the way you make your living , you do have to discover what sort of timetable suits you – and then make some kind of effort to keep to it. I´m not talking about getting military, but simply having it as your guideline for your day.
And this is definitely one of the pleasures of being an artist; the ability to set your own schedule and paint at the times when you most feel like painting. Art seems to flow better when you are listening to your own rhythm and painting when you are feeling your best, which is of course also when you will be at your most creative.
Today I plan to be working on the painting which I started yesterday, when I painted from 2pm until about 8pm. Although my start time is set, I finish when I feel like it……..not a schedule for everyone but it works very well for me.
Lucky for me, here in Andalucía the shops open from 9:30 until 2.00pm and then reopen at 6pm until 9pm. This gives the Spanish plenty of time to linger over lunch and enjoy a siesta before returning to work for a few hours in the evening. It also gives me a chance to get any shopping I may want after I´ve finished painting for the day. Only the post office keeps different hours. For unexplained reasons it opens at 8.30am and closes at 10.30.This causes me a problem. I am rarely even out of bed by 10.30, so visiting the post office is almost impossible for me. I have a slip on my table for a recorded delivery item for which I must sign. I may never make it in time. I hope it’s not too important……
Now, returning to my idea that an artist paints best when they are at their best: I always paint on the days when I actually want to paint, including Saturdays and Sundays. This allows my to do other things on those days when painting is not what I want to do and for this reason today , feeling nicely relaxed, I shall be continuing with the painting I started yesterday; obviously that extra hour has done me a world of good……..
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.