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Caroline Henry Art Blog

Organizing Time

by Caroline , February 23, 2008—04:40 PM

Topics: art, organization, painting, shadow

It has been almost three-fourths of a year since I retired from my teaching job, and I am still working on organizing my day without the job schedule dictating any of my time. For years I grabbed painting time when I could in the early morning hours or on weekends, and I plunged in deeply during vacations. From something I wrote during that time:

I'd been growing hungrier and gungrier to paint those last few weeks. At last summer break spread out like a pool of time. I dived in and have only just come up for air The flavor of pigment spreading on we paper was almost too sweet to bear. Shadows, rich and dark like chocolate, formed in sensual delight giving depth to flat planes. Greens as crisp as new lettuce, reds juicy as summer tomatoes,....

And so on it went. Now time management is a different problem entirely. The tyranny of freedom, so to speak. As many hours available to art pursuits as I so choose, within the framework of a life's normal contacts and commitments. I've been playing catch-up on a lot of items in my life which sort of piled up in the last couple of years when my job's demands actually intensified--no acting retired on the job as a few folks manage to do. While I have stepped up the time in which I make art, market, build art contacts, and such, I haven't established a routine schedule of any kind. It is my nature to make a list, establish a structure, etc. I'm not right brained enough to be happily random.

I'm wondering how other artists whose time is entirely self-scheduled organized their lives to find an appropriate balance between creative activity, marketing, other art related activities, and the rest of life.

The photo is a view of my studio, which is in my home with the potential for distraction therein, with the symbolic presence of our antique clock.




  Kelly M. ( homepage )

02/25/2008 * 12:51:03

Caroline --

Gee, I never know where to respond to other artists on -- the blogs, the guest books, etc...? Just wanted to thank you for your comment on my recent blog entry regarding reading. There just isn't enough time to read, to paint, to market,etc., is there?

I think it's reassuring to read the artists' letter and journal entries -- to learn how they felt about their work, their disappointments, their frustrations and to realize we're not alone in this crazy world of creativity.

I love your Calla Lilies! It makes me feel as if spring is not far off (I'm in New England and we just had another 6 inches of snow this weekend) -- Ugh.

Take care --


  Diane Wallace ( homepage )

02/24/2008 * 09:24:48

Hi Caroline,
Congratulations on your retirement. I'm envious. I spent about two years working on my art full-time, and I, too, found the freedom a bit overwhelming. So much so, I went back to work. (I think I paint more now than I did when I wasn't working) I also missed the social aspect of work, and got a bit frightened when I realized I was not only talking to the cat, but asking her opinions on my paintings!!!

One thing I did do early on was discover when I was most able to focus and paint. My mornings where when I would feel most creative and fresh. I'd get dressed, go in my studio and set the timer. I didn't answer the phone (pretended like I was at work), didn't throw laundry in, didn't start dinner until that timer went off (1 1/2 hours was a good time for me) I just spent time in my studio. That worked well for a while, and I wish I had stayed with it, but I strayed.

Good luck.....but most importantly enjoy.....for me that's the most important part of painting.

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