I like to paint during the week, during daylight hours. One of the reasons for this seems fairly simple and obvious: that’s when there’s light. I still rely on artificial light to some extent (that’s another post), but all said and done nothing is as good as natural light.
There is another reason that it works for me to be in the studio 9-5 Monday through Friday; that’s when most other people are working and it’s easier to go with that flow: the whole community tends to have more of a professional vibe. There are less likely to be entertaining distractions scheduled: not too many concerts, plays, dinner parties, etc happening during these hours. So it becomes pretty simple to establish these as my studio hours and show up regularly in my studio at these times.
I find a great benefit to sticking to this routine – it becomes a habit and it is a part of the process of artistic incubation. When it is my habit to work and create at these times, there is no hesitation, no struggle. I already know that I am committed to spending this time when I wake up in the morning and the work from the previous day carries creative momentum into the next. And I found that a magical thing starts to happen when this habit is formed: inspiration becomes automatically available because of the space that has been created for it
One challenge to keeping this commitment is the demand on time made by other people. People generally tend to think that since studio time is not what they think of as a regular day job, because I am my own boss and I set my own hours, that my time is available or flexible. They think of my schedule in the same light as their own when on holiday or on weekends, that it is possible to shift things around and then seem disappointed when I refuse and stick to my plan. On the other hand, I am extremely grateful to my friends who respect my process.
A couple of articles on the subject that I found helpful:
From San Diego to Vancouver, 100 Artists of the West Coast II covers 100 artists with over 400 full color photographs of their work. The collection includes art from private as well as public collections and installations, including the collections of LACMA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art New York, and the New York Public Library to name just a few. I'm happy to be included.