Wednesday, September 2, 2009

As a part-time artist, my biggest challenge is finding
time for my art. I keep juggling work, family
responsibilities and my watercolor
painting. After a day at work, I often don't have the
energy to do much except read...although often about
painting. Then I feel guilty because I am not painting;
on Saturday or Sunday mornings, if I sit down to paint
for an hour or two, I feel guilty about not taking care
of some of my other responsibilities. What
a vicious circle!

I have promised myself to "make time" for my painting.
It does not have to be several hours at at time.
Every little block of time counts. Creating
a large painting is exactly like eating an elephant
- one bite at a time. I would love to know how others
make time for their art...

The painting below, of a magnolia, is one of the few
that I have painted all at one sitting. This provided such a pleasant,
focused experience - a true feeling of creation

"Southern Belle"
11 X 14 inches
Arches 140 lb CP

In private collection

The reference is from the WC forum.

I started by really messing up the background: I used
Indigo and some Raw Sienna and the result looked heavy
and streaky.  I used salt then added lines of permanent
rose, cobalt and Prussian blue to exaggerate the streaks.
...This was not the way I had planned
the painting at the beginning, but I was very pleased with the results.

And I am off for that next bite of my current "elephant".


  1. christiane.. seems as though you are fighting the battle, we all fight..when to have some ME time.. wish i knew the answer... even now being retired ther isnt enough time and i know when i was working, it was doubley hard!! glad you are finding the minutes from somwhere to take another bite.. cause i really enjoy seeing your art!! thanks for sharing!!

  2. Thank you, Cindi, as always.
    I have just visited Nora's new blog and have signed up as a follower. She and I can learn about this blogging business together.
    Ah...another evening spent mostly reading and looking at other people's art instead of painting.
    But...there is always tomorrow:-)

  3. Hi Christiane, another wonderful post, this one outlining some of the struggles you (we all face) finding time and a balance for all the responsibilities of life as well as fitting in some time for your passion.
    It is a balancing act worthy of an award (!) quickly followed by pangs of guilt when we become so absorbed by an indulgent activity (in this case painting) we don’t notice the whole day has passed!
    Speaking for myself, when it comes to house chores vs painting.. would rather paint than spend my life vacuuming a ‘brown carpet’ – i have learnt to say myself.. if things are a mess.. so what! i made a painting where moments before there was a blank sheet - it may not be good, but I love doing it!
    (she giggles)
    Beats a ‘brown carpet’ any day!

    Your magnolia Southern Belle has a beautiful transparency! Tis what I love about watercolour.

  4. Perugina,
    thank you for your insightful comments. It's so true that time flies when we are absorbed in painting and I agree with your "so what" about the brown carpet:-). Creating something out of nothing is almost like a miracle and, in your case, I cannot believe that you could paint something that is not great!

    Transparency is really what I seek in watercolor and the pouring technique, not used in"Southern Belle", is usually the easiest way for me to achieve some of that transparency.
    Take care,

  5. Hi Christiane I'm retired but some days it seems everything gets in the way of my painting. I like how you finished this painting but like you I have trouble with the really dark bg. I never seem to get that really almost black bg, mine always seems dull. I think we'll do fine with our Cindi's help.

  6. Hi, Nora.
    My recently-retired friends say they are busier than ever:-)
    I much prefer working with light colors and do avoid the really darks. I should force myself to practice.
    Yes, Cindi has been so encouraging concerning this blogging; her enthusiasm for blogs is really contagious. You and I will do just fine and we will be veteran bloggers in no time...I hope:-)

  7. I sure appeciate your struggle. Painting and making art seem to be the things that gets shoved aside always - even when there's more time for it. Being creative is SO important. Your work is beautiful so keep those brushes wet as often as possible.

  8. Thank you so much Sandy for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I appreciate your kind words.
    How true that being creative is brings me inner harmony and energy to go on with the other parts of my life. Knowing that, I wonder why I still feel some guilt about those stolen moments spent painting:-) Human nature sure is funny.