Mike Barr Art Blog
Most of us seem to be time-poor these days and the "If I only had time" line is in frequent use and as artists we are no different. So many of us are NOT full-time artists and like me have to fit in art around a full-time job and other things in life like family, houses and more. So what can we do? Throw away our paints and say it's no use trying or try and fit in with time?
I believe there is such a thing as working 'with' time. There are occasions when time invites us to use it and we often don't take up the offer. In fact we may not even see the offer!
Too much time is almost as non-productive as not enough time. Things that can be done at any time usually get left till there is no time -- true? There is one thing that limited time can do for you that heaps of time can't and that is to focus. If we know we have only a couple of hours at the easel we aren't going to be caught polishing all our paint brush handles -- we are going to paint! In such cases of constraint our best work can be accomplished and our time is treasured. Having five uninterrupted days to do a half-day job can have us floundering to complete it. We tend to do everything else apart from what we should be doing.
What about working 'with' time? Occasionally and even on a daily basis, time offers us wonderful little opportunities to work with it. I call them captive moments -- periods of time in which not much else can be done apart from read, write and think.
When you travel by public transport for example, there is no escaping the time that you are on there. You can't wash the dishes, change the bedding or do something in the shed --you are being invited to use your head. Time has offered you a gem. These little snippets of time (which may take an hour or more a day!) are for you to use as you wish. As artists they are ideal times to be jotting down ideas, do scribbles of future works, write out notes for sales copy, design advertising leaflets, put down in writing how you would like to describe your work to others, read about other artists and techniques and most importantly, always have a notebook with you, no matter how small -- it is your time travelling companion.
So, don't get angry at having to wait over an hour at the doctor's or other appointments -- get a good hours worth of art thinking and reading done. By working with time you are an hour richer in your artistic pursuit and you'll whole lot happier inside!