I was looking at my calendar to plot art festivals this Fall, and I had to sit back for a moment and let some Time-Inventory sink in. We’re a little more than halfway through the year already. It shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. My time awareness and management skills are kindergarten level. Visuals help. The whole year with a red dot on today (below), like an airport map with a crimson You Are Here graphic, swerve me into a state of understanding that I usually hover near, but fail to interpret. Grasping long term planning has eluded me for years. I’m fortunate (more than I can articulate) to have a strategic thinker as my super-hero husband. I wish my proximity to him would transfer some of his skills, but so far, no gold stars for me.
I’m supposed to be working on a series of watercolors featuring interiors and still life vignettes this year. I’ve been marinating on the images, sketching and snapping photos, but I reckon this move to a new city, and my affinity for distraction tripped my plan. It’s still on the bottom step, with a scuffed knee, and I’m halfway up the stairs. I should go retrieve it, and get started, don’t you think? [If the next post isn’t a watercolor of an interior or still life, you can yell at me with All Caps in the comments.]
What do you do to get your train back on the tracks? How do you plot the year in your studio?
I tested ArtGraf’s water soluble graphite on two papers, and painted the little eucalyptus branch with a bird (at the top of this post) as an experiment. I think it’s a great tool for folks trying to learn watercolor, because it’s monochromatic, so there are lessons in values, and it’s (mostly) liftable, and erasable after it dries. You can see my test video here. (If you’d like to subscribe to my YouTube channel to catch upcoming videos, click here.)
I’m convinced that the best solutions are often the ones that are counterintuitive – that challenge conventional thinking – and end in breakthroughs. It is always easier to do things the same old way… why change? To fight this, keep your dissatisfaction index high and break with tradition. Don’t be too quick to accept the way things are being done. Question whether there’s a better way. Very often you will find that once you make this break from the usual way – and incidentally, this is probably the hardest thing to do – and start on a new track, your horizon of new thoughts immediately broadens. New ideas flow in like water. Always keep your interests broad – don’t let your mind be stunted by a limited view.
~Nathaniel C. Wyeth