It is hard for me to decide how to split time to build a schedule. I find getting into the studio first thing makes for the most effective day but I do like to have coffee by an outdoor fire, to read for a bit and listen to the morning activity. A walking photo morning is high on my list of things competing for the morning light.
While visiting the studio of a painter who lived on the opposite side of the lake she shared a story of her very early morning painting visits with her friend and mentor, Robert Genn. They would on occasion set their phones to speaker and share their studio in the morning though miles apart. The conversation would flow and stall as intensity of the brush would dance across the canvas, she shared this not as a way to drop a pretty impressive name beside her own impressive name, but as one more way of working.
Different painters like to paint to different styles of music, classical, country, latin, jazz, I have heard a range listed as the playlist for success. I like a wide eclectic variety sometimes softly in the background sometimes rivaling that trembling the closed-door of a teenagers room. While I have yet to be nipped by the plein air bug, I do like to paint in my own outdoor space. I have had chipmunks nestle into my open brush box, a squirrel nap inside the garden clogs I have set to the side and while painting with headphones, a sweetness of a black bear foraging in a garden pile about 12 feet away. I didn’t even know she was there until my daughter came to share a coffee break with me for a few and when i took off the headphones and looked across to her surprised face heard her say, wow mom, there is a bear right behind you! We quietly walked a circle around the truck and back into the house to finish our coffee! The bear finished her find and sauntered back into the woods.
I have delighted in outdoor demo’s where deer have grazed around us, and a funny day on Salt Spring Island when the amazing work of a well-known watercolor artist was competing for our attention with the wild turkeys craning their heads for a better look. I find, I am distracted by the presence of life in shared space. Drawn into their antics I lose focus or focusing on my work I miss the fact a bear is ‘right behind you!’. Some visitors become so familiar of course, we can both go about our business with little disruption, just a friendly acknowledgement of welcome.
Julie Cameron writes about creative process and fills the page margins with wonderful quotes, one I like is to the effect of, we are reflections of a creative god, if not, why would there be not just one butterfly? The butterflies have made their first spring appearance on a sunny day last weekend on our property. It is the start of spring distraction, but for now, I guess I will get to work! I think a bit of Madison Violet and a mug of strong coffee and I am good to go.