Is time the artist’s greatest enemy?
I dream of sitting in my dusty studio. The pungent scent of turpentine is in the air. I can see the photographs and sketches stuck on the wall. Devils Haircut, by Beck, plays in the background and newspapers, magazines and books litter the paint-covered floor. I have a primed blank canvas on the easel, all ready to go. I sit, staring and reflecting on what to do next. Shall I draw or paint today? I wish there was nowhere else l have to be.
I often only wish it was true; that I had nowhere else to be. The idea of being unbound by time feels like the ultimate emancipation.
Instead, as a committed parent, I am aware I need to collect the kids from school soon. Which leaves me a narrow window of time to get something made. When I think about what my greatest enemy is as an artist, it is easy to look at a clock and say time. But is it really?
I remind myself of the recent trip to the National Gallery. The inspirational time l spent with Rembrandt and Rubens. Then I think about a walk through the countryside with my family when I took my camera and noticed the wildflowers. I remember the happy times I had on holiday with my family. I ask myself, was that wasted? Clearly not is the answer!
Artist’s time – Stuart Bush Studio Notes
With time ticking away, I want to make the most of it. Nothing of beauty, intellect or authentic merit comes from a stale imagination. I first need time to absorb life and let my imagination range freely. You could say I am most creative when I am least productive and when I think about it, I certainly wouldn’t want it any other way.
I realise the journey is the reward; as I progress I will discover myself on the way. I will not be the same person, the progress will change me. The outcome won’t be just a career or a lifetime of painting; the genuinely satisfying thing will be the gradual change in me over time.
External links – artist’s time
Time isn’t the artist’s greatest enemy, it’s my motivator. Martha Truly-Curtin tells us that, “time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” While Zig Ziglar states that “People often complain about lack of time when lack of direction is the real problem”.
As I get older, I have noticed I need less sleep. I get up earlier and look forward to getting something done. I seek protection from interruptions to achieve my daily goals. One to two hours of writing, when the house is quiet, is pure bliss. Blocks of two to three hours to do focused painting day after day, week after week and l can see progress towards making that dent in the world.
What are you working on when you lose all sense of time? Please comment below.
‘Like’ my Facebook page to make sure you never miss a blog post.