my painting habit

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I often have several ideas in my mind of what I'd like to do with my sans kid time (pretty much all of them revolve around art). I might start with watching a few videos on my favorite website Creativebug. In the end, I land on a british period drama or a lighthearted murder mystery like Psych or Monk (or perhaps I mix the two by watching an Agatha Christie adaptation--delicious!). I half watch with my ear buds in, while I paint, draw, collage or sketch. This my dear ones, is my heaven. It's so easy to get lost in heaven and lose track of what I wanted to do or to get waylaid by looking at even more Pinterest ideas of what I should do. So today, I learned that I should keep an art to do list and decide in advance, which ones I'm doing.

This will also help the situation with my 'portable' art studio, which is whatever large Trader Joe's bag I happen to have on hand, with a bunch of paints, markers, pens, paper, sketchbooks and sundry I've used lately. If I don't cull this, very soon I will be carrying an IKEA bag to the coffeeshop and I'm already taking up a little too much space with my mobile studio. 

Art fits really well into my life right now. I can leave the house and go and be creative in a public space (not so easily done when it comes to songwriting). Plus, I love, love painting. I love the smell of it, the look of it. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I look at several finished pieces. I've only put my paint brush in my latte once, so the downsides are really nowhere to be seen.

Today I decided to paint this monochromatic piece, mostly just varying the hue. It was quite freeing to not really worry about a color palette and instead just focus on composition (something I struggle with). I'm still waiting for my own personal style to emerge. I've always been a pretty good mimic but that's obviously not the end result I'm striving for. I have to thank my toddler for teaching me that it's okay to let go of end results and just follow the process from an instinctual place. I really think that unlocked everything for me, as a visual artist.

This is an odd time in my life. I find myself looking longingly toward Tuesdays and Thursdays (the days that I have a babysitter for 4 hours in the mornings). Music has always been my 'thing' but it's not something I enjoyed all that much, without an audience. Painting (and lettering and doodling) has finally offered me something that I can do all on my own and enjoy it entirely. When people ask 'What do you enjoy doing most', I can say 'Painting' and then go do it. I guess I would still say performing to some extent but that's not so easily pulled off on a whim.

All in all, I completed 5 pieces today. I don't think any of them were frame worthy per say. Yao Cheng, one of my favorite watercolorists, makes 4 to 5 drafts of the same painting and I haven't been focused enough to do that yet. There's just too much to paint and I'm in such a massive hurry to do it all, with these small moments I have. Here's to next Tuesday!

Jaime Randall