How to make time for painting
It should be simple to make time for painting. After all this is something that you choose to do, something that you love to do, something that makes you feel good. So why is it so difficult to find time for something that you enjoy doing so much?
I’ve asked myself this many times since I returned to my passion of painting. There has got to be a way to carve out time in the weekly schedule for doing something that you want to do. That thing that fulfills you, that thing that completes you. The alternative is feeling like something is missing, that feeling of never doing that one thing that you love.
It sucks. I know because I’ve gone long periods of time in that exact state. Days, weeks, months and yes even years!
Stop making Excuses
I have one day off in the middle of the week. What I have found is that I’m often re-energizing on that day. Oh, also there’s another part-time job that often fills some of that day, or household chores, or numerous other demands on my time. Ok, so basically I’m always coming up with excuses and go off in other directions!
It’s time to consider the positive effects of time spent painting: the personal satisfaction, the stress relief, not to mention the end result: a painting that you can be proud of and that others will also enjoy, something to hang in a gallery or even sell.
Set your Personal Goal
If painting is an important personal goal, then it only follows that you should be able to create that time and space in your schedule. This is your own personal time and you should treat it as an investment in yourself. Make it a priority!
Here’s an idea: perhaps setting a special project that really motivates you and gets you excited will help you make the time. Like painting a favorite place, a pet or your grandchildren’s portraits. Hmmm, I like that one!
Manage your Time
Managing your time differently will take some imagination. Can you delegate some chores? Can you rearrange your schedule? It’s all about strategy!
Set a timer to control the amount of time you spend on other things. Need to do housework? Only spend a half hour at it and leave more time for painting.
There are those things in your schedule that you have to do. You can’t change that. You could perhaps spend less time at preparing and eating meals for example. I have a part-time job that helps pay my bills and I am committed to certain hours on certain days.
Maybe you’ll have to get up extra early on some times to find the time, if you have a full and busy schedule.
If you keep a calendar, it’s a good idea to actually block off the time and even send yourself a reminder. You only have yourself to answer to if you don’t honor that time.
Set a Schedule
What is needed is to set up a schedule and stick to it. No excuses, no interruptions, no intrusions! This is a time set aside and needs to be honored! You choose exactly how much time you will spend on painting. Maybe you have to cut some time from other time commitments. Make that day the day you order take out, go out for dinner or have your partner do the cooking that day. Now you’ve saved time to put toward painting!
Set up the time as though it was a class you were attending. Create post-it notes to remind yourself of the time you’ve set aside and stick them on where you’ll notice them: on the fridge, bathroom mirror, computer screen, etc.
Set the Stage
Create that physical space in your home where you can go and close the door. Set up your paints, easel and brushes so that the scene is set, like setting a table. Just waiting for you!
I truly believe that if you feel strongly about setting a goal, then following with a set schedule, you can create that time to paint that you long for!
Oh, Buoy! 18 x 24 acrylic painting Seeing these bright-colored buoys on the water makes me smile! They make me long for endless warm lazy summer days on the water… days that seem too far off on yet another gray spring day in Northern Ontario. The ice is still melting. The lakes will warm up. It all takes time. Boaters, cottagers, fishermen, and just about anyone who spends time on or near the water are familiar with these buoys. These buoys serve an important purpose though. Anchored to something under the water they are a marker, connected to a waterline perhaps, a mooring site, or a danger point to be avoided. For me, they are a beacon of warmer weather to come, and oh, boy, I’ll be...read more
2023 Calendars!12 months of images to enjoy!The 2023 calendars are here! I have to admit that the hardest part of putting together this calendar was deciding which painting images to include! I tried to show local scenes throughout the year that many friends and family will recognize and enjoy. In several cases, I wasn’t able to display the entire original painting aiming instead to bring out a good section. I hesitated for a while. Many of us use our calendars on our devices….phones, tablets, and computers. Are paper hanging calendars still wanted? Personally, I still like to have a calendar that I can write on, hang, and flip through whenever I want to see the days, months, and entire year at a glance. Plus the images make it so much more pleasing! The reception has been wonderful and encouraging! I’ve sold out of my first 20, and have ordered a second batch. The cost is $20 + $3 mailing for a single calendar. The mailing for 2 calendars goes up to $5. If you’re interested in ordering let me know at...read more
Land Ho! | 18 x 24 acrylic painting Some of you may recognize this spot on Dunlop Lake, just north of Elliot Lake. My kayak is pointed in the direction of a gorgeous island that happens to be a designated provincial government campsite. You can pitch a tent and spend the night camping under the stars! I never have… yet. This is another painting in a series I’m producing now for the Elliot Lake Arts on the Trail 2023, this September 30. I’ve wanted to display my artwork here since I moved back to my hometown of Elliot Lake, and this year it will finally...read more
Peaceful Bay | 12 x 24 acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas An ideal escape for me on any given day is to be out on a lake in my kayak. We are lucky to have a ton of bays just like this one on any of the hundreds of lakes that surround us here in Northern Ontario. Throw in a beaver dam, a cluster of water lilies, a turtle sitting on a rock, or a rotting tree trunk plus some grasses swaying in the wind and you’ve got yourself a peaceful bay just like this one to drift into. And here you can just take a deep breath and float for a while. As for the painting… there’s a lot of contrast going on here. I had a lot of fun with the strong colors and the looser brushstrokes toward the bottom of the...read more
The Breakwater | 30′ x 60″ acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas You might look at this painting and think…it’s just a piles of rocks! But this pile of rocks was intentionally placed in this location to serve as a breakwater on Lake Huron, one of our amazing “Great Lakes” in Ontario. Everyone needs some type of breakwater as we go through our lives. That wall of strength that we resort to during times of rough waters. The wall of strength that holds back the rough waters with the strong winds and waves that keep bashing in, and provide that calm protected space where we can find shelter. It’s the largest painting I’ve completed to date! It seemed a little daunting to begin with but once I got the bigger brushes out it seemed to paint itself. A lesson to myself…don’t let “size” get in the...read more
I started this painting about a year ago. It was a strong and promising start and I felt really confident that it wouldn’t take me long to finish it. It was, however, a side piece. And it sat and sat. Hope Blooms 12×12 Acrylic on canvas SOLD What is a side piece, you ask? A side piece for an artist is one that you work on before and in between others, to loosen up and add some fluidity to your work process. I always feel a little freer with colors and techniques afterward. There were times, I have to admit when I doubted myself. Would I ever actually finish it? Well, I did and I really felt passionate about it. You see, the days lately have been long, cloudy and gray and the wintery cold weather has a way of hanging on extra long here in Northern Ontario. After a period of particularly gray and also emotionally heavy days, I knew I needed to throw myself into this painting to take my mind in a different direction. Our world and all the people in it have been suffering under the weight of Covid 19. So many of us have been isolated looking for safety in our own home sanctuaries. It has left some of us detached from each other and sometimes, even ourselves. Add to this, the stresses of families physically apart, yet trying to reach out to support each other, and sometimes it is more than we can bear. The colors in this painting swirled around the canvas and really excited me and lifted my spirits! Black-eyed Susans have always been a favorite late summer flower of my husband and I’ve grown to really appreciate them too. Painting these flowers made a difference in how I felt that day and now going forward. Hope really does bloom...read more
Have you ever wanted to just jump into a painting? Well, this is one that I could literally jump into. It is the quintessential Northern Ontario scene along the shore of any lake. I can almost smell the dried pine needles on the ground—that wonderful earthy smell combined with the fresh breeze off of the lake. The sun makes its way through the trees and creates long afternoon shadows reaching out as though to grab your attention. By the Lake’s Shore 18 x24 acrylic on canvas I left this painting sitting unfinished on my easel while my attention was diverted with a journey away to a warmer climate. A family member that was minding our house and cat while we were away, was captured by it and claimed it on the...read more
This painting was created as an addition to a series of angel paintings that I painted in 2019 as my contribution to the Elliot Lake Art Gallery’s “Angels Among Us” theme which celebrated the holiday season. 11 x 14 acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas$125.00 It weighed very heavy on my heart but I needed to release my emotions. This native angel stands in recognition of truth and reconciliation and honors the lives of the lost children and the survivors of Canada’s residential schools. The angel brings us strength to deal with this truth, love for healing, and hope for a better future. The moon casts its glow on us as our protector and watches over us. The falling feathers were inspired by the lyrics from Neil Young’s song: “Birds”. “…feathers fall around you, and show you the way to go home…” Prints of this painting are also available for purchase. They are 8″ x 10″ set in an 11 x 14 mat with cardboard backing, ready for framing. Notecards 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ with white envelopes are $5 each of 3 for $12. Shipping costs are...read more
Driving on this road north holds many good memories. 12″ x 36″ acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas – SOLD Anyone who lives or who has lived in Elliot Lake, Ontario at any time is very familiar with Highway 108, the 30 km stretch of highway that leads into the town from the Highway 17 turnoff. But not everyone has driven it to its’ most northern tip beyond the city where the highway ends and merges into Highway 639. At this point, you can still see part of the old road that turned off to right towards Quirke Mine, which no longer exists. Comments from a Facebook post featuring the painting: “I seen this painting and in my heart I knew it was E.L you’ve got the big whispy white pines perfectly (I live in AB now but grew up in Elliot Lake. I knew right away it was the 108!).”, and “Absolutely stunning! I am familiar with that area. My brother worked in the mines. Really captured well.” You would travel on Highway 639 on your way to Mississagi Provincial Park, or Laurentian Lodge, a beautiful log home with rental cottages on Flack Lake, or up to meet Highway 546 on your way east to Wilderness Lodge, or west to follow the Little White River, all the way around to Iron Bridge which brings you back to Highway 17! We still call this route along the river, “The Little White River Road”. If you were a miner you would regularly travel along this highway back and forth at all hours on your shifts to Denison, Quirke 1 & 2, Panel, or Stanrock Mines. This stretch of highway still holds on to many of its characteristics of earlier days like the old guard rails. The asphalt gives way to a more compressed gravel and it’s seems to get narrower the further you go. We’ve driven this road many a time, often in the spring and most definitely in the fall. The views and the vistas from the high elevations are absolutely breathtaking! There is bush as far as the eye can see, and the colours in the northern fall forest are stunning! Mother Nature is an awesome artist! After a long winter, Elliot Lakers often get a yearning to go somewhere! When they aren’t in the mood for a highway drive east or west to the larger cities, they will often drive the road north. The breathtaking beauty of the scenic nature here has a way of rejuvenating...read more
Last summer, I was approached by a relative who asked me to paint a picture to hang over their couch in their new home. Sure, I agreed, though at that time I had no idea what and when I would ever paint it. One benefit of all this homestay during this Covid-19 lockdown has been my ability to focus on painting. Painting grabs my attention completely and the time that passes is of no concern. It is a wonderful and rewarding escape from reality! Morning Calm on Dunlop Lake – 48″ x 32″ acrylic on canvas – Commissioned We’ve spent many good times together at the cottage that sits behind this view on Dunlop Lake. On this particular morning, the lake was quite calm and left you with a feeling of peace and serenity. What a perfect image to hang in the home in the city many miles and worlds away from this scene. I hope it brings them a sense of calmness, and memories of all the wonderful times spent there for many years to...read more