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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Stealing Time

Life conspires to crush the artist. There are bills to be paid, phone calls to answer, emails to read, accounts to update, gardens to be watered, dishes to wash, life to be lived.

So how do I find time for my art?

The answer is simple, you never find it, you must create it.

You must schedule it, in bold indelible ink, with alarms on your phone to tell you to ignore the pile of mail for this next hour, or two, or however much time you dare to carve out of your life's ever-increasing demands.

My house is dusty. Before company comes over, we frantically dust it off. My art is more important than shiny surfaces.

My bed is unmade. It occurred to me long ago that few people ever see my bed. Why should I take the time to make it only to slip back into it 16 hours later? I do make it when I change the sheets, because there really is something nice about a clean crisp set of sheets. But the rest of the week, I pull the duvet back and let it sit there. My art is more important than a made bed.

I steal time from my frenetic life for my art.

I create little piles of works in progress, so if I feel I don't have enough time or energy to commit to a complicated painting, I can always work on something at hand.

I draw while I am waiting...on hold with the bank, in line at the grocery, sitting at the dentist. I have shed all self consciousness about drawing in public. In an up-market restaurant, I try not to spill ink on the table linens. And I usually leave a small sketch with the makes the staff even more happy to serve me next time. After all, business execs pull out paperwork and tablets, why shouldn't I? I am also working.

If I keep a sketchbook and pen with me, in my hands, at all times, I am more likely to use it. It is not a big, complicated, deep and meaningful Work of Art....or is it?

Hey, it's MY Life, and I will make it as big, complicated, deep and meaningful as I like.

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