There is only so much room in the studio for giant canoe and barn canvasses and I can only have so many paintings and projects on the go at one time. I’d have a warehouse sized studio if it were in the cards. I’m far too restless to literally wait for the paint to dry, yet so much of my time at work is not spent in making art. It’s spent balancing.
I’m lucky, because I have a fabulous studio/office in my house. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It keeps me connected to who I am, and what’s really important to me – my family. I’ve tried having a studio outside of the home, and I felt somewhat disconnected. I count myself lucky that my present arrangements are working so well for me.
Here are some of the things I do to maximize my time as a mom in a home studio (in no particular order, by the way):
- Do the laundry. It only takes a minute to switch around a load. While it’s washing and drying, I scoot back to the easel. At the end of the day, kids and Kev help fold and put away.
- Cook – watching bread rise is about as exciting as watching paint dry, but if you do them both at the same time, you end up with fabulous results at the end of the day. Here’s my favourite bread recipe, The Artist’s Daily Bread.
- Write – take that break time and write down all those thoughts that swirl in your head while you’re painting. (That’s what I’m doing now after a couple hours at the easel.)
- Lobby. Write hand-written letters to your school board, local, provincial and federal politicians on policy suggestions for arts and culture. Tell them who you are and why this matters to you and your family.
- Get outside for a walk. Even ten minutes up and down the street will give you a fresh perspective. You’re an artist….you’ll find lots of inspiration in a quiet walk by yourself. The fresh air will do you good too! Oxygen to the brain and all that.
- Learn something new every day. I subscribe to Lynda.com and have learned SO much. Pick something that you think will be tough. I find having a challenge really stretches you. You can never learn enough, and you will be surprised at how much you can absorb.
- Tell the people you love, that you love them and value them in your life. Find a neat way every day to do this. Sometimes I pop a special note in someone’s lunchbox, or a hand-written note in the mail to someone who has meant something to me.