Thursday, August 25, 2011

Time Management

This post reflects two divergent thoughts when it comes to time/devotion/obsession/balance or whatever we do with our time. One is expressed by my friend and colleague Stape Kearns who believes art is all . He states" I get up and paint all day, sleep then do it again the next day". I took lots of flak by readers when I expressed another viewpoint. The Artists Way challenges this view expressing the opinion of balance. What are you precepts about successful art? Do you feel you must be poor, overworked, alone, etc? This viewpoint emphasizes balance and positive thinking. Thus, you can have friends, support groups, wealth, energy, etc and be a successful artist. Being in the health profession for many years highlighted the need for care to our mind, body and spirit. I have witnessed various artists drop dead needlessly because of heart disease or suicide. Both these conditons are treatable/reversable. Simple obsession and putting miles of canvas behind you may be not the only answer. Artist way recommends starting with a journal every morning with your thoughts and feelings--a way of centering. Personally, I engaged in a new diet two years ago as my triglycerides were off the chart and an insurance carrier denied my applicatoin.( I used to eat junk food, supersized it) I became a believer in Dr Fuhrman, eating cruciform vegetables and I literaly changed my chemistry panels into the healthy range for the first time ever!.

I pray a lot and develop a spiritual life as art is a gift to share and I excersize three to five times a week. I do marital arts and yoga so all of these things are part of my time management. Alas, I read books on art, study master painters from the past, try to forget what other artists are doing and focus on what I am doing. The internet is a great tool for seeing who is doing what but I sometimes give up my own voice in lieu of others--a poor choice. I have two or more weekly support groups and I take time off when I need to and vacation with my loved ones. I guess I am healthy, certainly better than I was five years ago. Sometimes I put in three hours a day painting and other times ten hours. It depends on my energy or chi as the eastern martial arts describe. But I might not paint at all and reread Hawthorne, Carlson, Henri, or Payne.

I don't know what the answer is. Stape's approach is working fine for him. If that fits do it. If you want a more balanced--perhaps less obsessive healthier way in my view, try my approach. I know I was prediabetic, heading for an early grave and by changing my eating habits I have extended my life much longer. Write me for more details if you like on resources mentioned in this blog. Deepak Chopra recommends meditation on Who you are, what is your purpose, what makes you happy(I add how can I please God). You don't need to answer these just think about them. Finally, prioritize your activities into most important, least important and middle. See how much time you are spending on each category. Naturally creating great art is my # 1 but I must do marketing or hire others to do it. Least important it grinding my own oil paints or stretching canvas. Don't have time for that so scratch it. Get the idea? Hope this helps--question or challenge me on these opinions or say what you have found that works. Happy painting!

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