The Laws of Nature

Sunday, November 8, 2009

If Not Now ... When??


In the morning, when I get out of bed and begin to think about "today" and all its possibilities, I say to myself "If not now ... when?" That's how I run my life. There's so little time and so much to do that's fun and rewarding, so why put it off? What am I waiting for?
I apply this advice to my career as an artist all the time. It would be easy to procrastinate and not pursue opportunities to exhibit, or paint an idea, or do some research, etc. It would be easy to give into feelings of insecurity that inhibit creativity.It would be easy to find excuses not to go to the studio. But, how could that enhance my life? And, what if my life is too short? Today IS the day. Carpe diem, y'all!
(P.S. this painting is one of a long series, gouache on paper 6" x8", that I call "The Twenty Minute Challenge." When I stay in hotels, I allow myself 20 minutes to paint a scene in the room. Usually, I'll complete five or six scenes before I check out. This is one from a Holiday Inn. They're lots of fun to do and provide me with a visual record of where I've been).

10 comments:

Margaret Ryall said...

I sometimes fall down on the job of seizing the day but I try. I love the idea of your twenty minute challenge. Are they personal works or have you exhibited them? I'd like to see more.

Dan Kent said...

What an excellent idea! And I like the result too.

Sheila said...

I'll ditto Dan and say "What an excellent idea!" I wish I would have thought of that when I was working and travelling all the time. Love this painting.

Kathy said...

Thanks, Margaret, Dan, and Kent. Actually, you can do the "twenty minute challenge" without going to a motel. Just pick a theme and time yourself. For instance, you could paint an intimate scene in your own house. Changing light throughout the day would make even the same scene change if painted repetitiously. I once did the same thing with a building on a hill across the water in Maine. I painted it for twenty minutes in watercolor every hour through an 11hour period, and one night scene. It turned out great, and the entire series sold last year!

Kathy said...

Oops! I meant to say Margaret, Dan and SHEILA. So sorry :)

Mark Sheeky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Sheeky said...

Hey a good philosophy! I tend to think more negatively and think, what if this was my last day alive. What if I would be dead this time next week! Or the end of the year! Right now I've got my list (I'm a list-a-holic) of things to do tomorrow to make it a good day. If full enough it should be a good day even if it is my last. Perhaps I should think more about "now" instead..!

-Don said...

I love a good use of the complimentary color scheme. The yellow/purple one is my favorite and you pulled it off quite wonderfully. What a great exercise regimen to follow. Thanks for sharing.

I'm thinking it's time for me to get back to my easel right now, because "if not now, when?".

hwfarber said...

What an example you are! You definitely sieze the day and impress the heck out of me with your art.

Your entries on this blog would make a great book--and should be required reading for those who think they'd like to be an artist.

Do you set a timer for the "Twenty Minute Challenge? I totally lose track of time when I'm painting.

Kathy said...

Hi Mark, I can relate to making lists. There's so much to remember and the older I get the less I seem to remember. Lists are a good habit!

Don, the violet/yellow color scheme is my favorite and I have to struggle not to use it in every single painting (!)

HW, yes, I set a timer (usually the alarm on the clock in the room). When the alarm goes off I stop painting - so this forces me to record my impression quickly. This is a good exercise for learning to edit on the spot.