Tips for Finding Time to Paint

Q. Do you have any tips on where to find the time to paint? Is it better to paint a little each day or do a marathon session once a week? And how do I get energized to paint? Is it better just to jump in and paint, or to wait until I feel the time is perfect?

A. When I first started painting, I would paint when I had the urge. But it still felt as if I were always looking for that perfect time. I’d paint a little here and a little there.

When I decided to make the leap of faith and begin painting full time, I set a goal of six hours a day, a number which soon increased.

For those of you who work another job, I know from experience it’s difficult to get motivated. I would recommend setting aside an hour or two every day that would be devoted to painting (the morning is a good time if you can swing it—before your energy is sapped). Setting aside time like this not only feeds your soul, but puts you into a more creative space. If you do this daily you will find yourself coming up with more ideas for your paintings.

Discipline is the key word here! It will be difficult at first. Even if you can’t think of anything to paint, just sit down with your paints and play with them for an hour.

Another good idea to get you looking forward to your next painting time is to save something you want to do on your painting for your next session, so that you can dig right in when you sit down.

One last-but-not-least piece of advice: It’s important to surround yourself with loving and supportive people. If you don’t, you’ll wind up drained of your energy, your creativity will be stifled and there will never be time for you.

Howard Carr studied at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, California, and received his master of fine arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts. His work is in international collections and has been recognized with numerous juried art awards. He teaches at the Scottsdale Artists’ School and conducts workshops around the United States and the world.

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