Posts Tagged ‘plan’

Dispatches from the Spice Mines

Monday, April 19th, 2010
pencil sketch of cubicles

Pencil Sketch, dispatched from the Spice Mines

The best laid paths cannot pass through a brick wall in the way.

I had a path set out for myself. I spent the first weekend in January planning 2010. A painting every week! A new woodblock edition every month!

I had an assumption built into those plans, I would not be too busy at the Spice Mines in 2010. I would be just busy enough to keep on working, but not so busy that I would have to commit an extra amount of focus to the job.

Those plans have flown out the window as this year progressed. The Spice Mines have gotten spicier and spicier over the last few months, and now, after already working plenty of nights and weekends, I see myself spending even more time in Chateau Spice.

I’ve been fighting it and fighting it, regular readers have seen my posts about being behind at work or how to focus after a long day of work.

I’ve been fighting it, trying to figure out how to work hard all day, then come home, shift gears, and make beautiful art at night.

Luckily I have good friends, friends who not only help me sort this stuff out, but that prompt me to sort it out for myself as well. My buddy Dave teaches people stuff, how to blog being what he is publicly known for. He teaches other stuff too, like how to get your head right, but that tends to be in our private conversations.

Yesterday Dave called, “what you up to today?” and I had no idea. My plans had fallen so far behind, that once I got a goodness gracious free day to work on art, I didn’t know what to do with it. He told me to come over later in the day, and we’d set stuff straight. He bought me tacos too, and I very much appreciate those as well.

As I did laundry, cleaned my apartment, read some comics, and took a nap, I got to thinking about my situation, cuz I knew Dave and I would be hashing it out later. Big revelation, fighting my situation is the hardest part. I realized a little emotional jujitsu may be in order, and instead of trying to work against my need to double down on the DayJob, I should use that as the fuel.

I’ll probably do that. You’re probably gonna see a lot of art and drawings about being at work and stuff for the next few months. You probably won’t see much promotion or sales stuff here either. I figured out I have time to make art, or I have time to sell art.

Not both.

I’m opting to make art.

New Year’s Painting Goal Has Visible Results

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

What are you doing in 2010?

2010 is the year for doing stuff. If you are not doing or making something, you are wasting your time.

My plans for 2010 are rather ambitious. To follow through on them, I am going to have to do ridiculous amounts of work.

I’m Ok with that.

One of these plans is to do 50 paintings this year. One a week.

How to get ‘er done

Self Portrait, Oil on Canvas, 12x12.  First painting of 2010.

Self Portrait, Oil on Canvas, 12x12. First painting of 2010.

The structure I have set up for myself is pretty simple. I paint on Monday night and Tuesday night, starting around 7pm. I work till 10 or 11 pm. The painting is finished when I go to sleep Tuesday night, even if it isn’t complete.

The results of my first week’s work are sitting up here on my left. (I paint myself a lot because I am always a willing model)

This painting is not complete, but it is finished. This is as much as I got done on Monday and Tuesday night. I may work on it again a little bit this weekend when I have some free time, but then again, maybe not.

I imagine that this painting requires about 6 more hours of work to complete — it is about half done right now. The major shapes and areas are defined, but everything needs more work to flesh it out and make it complete.

Why half finish a painting?

When I was getting my art degree, I made a decision to pursue printmaking as my emphasis rather than painting. This had more to do with the school than my interests.

UC Santa Cruz had a marvelous printmaking facilites and equipment, and a marvelous lithography instructor. I had the oppurtunity to get a deep understanding of printmaking.

I also knew that if I studied painting, all that I would get was a lot of time to paint. This had to do with the school and the instructors. There was very little actual instruction beyond the introductory courses. Most of the advanced courses that I would have been in were little more than a lot of time to spend painting.

I put off painting, because I realized that I could get a lot of time to paint on my own, and learn nearly as much on my own as I would have in school.

I set this “painting a week” plan to get that year of painting that I put off in school. This is mostly about regaining my painting chops than producing finished work.

I’ll make paintings that you can buy for thousands of dollars next year.