I’d like to recommend (and borrow from) a book entitled: Inside the Painter’s Studio by Joe Fig wherein Fig poses a series of questions to artists with very different approaches to working.

Do you have a working routine?

Do you have anything “on” while you are working?

I won’t be able to post at length for the next week, but will continue to follow WDHD with great interest. CC


8 thoughts on “Questions

  1. Got no fixed routine, just whenever the artistic demons take over. Not a good formula for high production and profitability, but makes me happy.

    My motto is to wear as little as possible when working, but perhaps you meant music? In which case, yes I’ve often got my IPod playing away quietly in the background when painting in the studio. If an Australian landscape, then nice to have Xavier Rudd, Missy Higgins, John Butler, Beautiful Girls, Tommy Emmanuel, Trysette, and more from my Aussie artists library to keep me company.

  2. Music, TV, Tuvan traditional tribal garb . . . Good answer. CC

  3. My routine: Go hard dawn to dusk. Eat occasionally if necessary!

    Music: Rarely ….I like to listen to the insane chatter that goes on inside my head and plan what I am going to do tomorrow.

  4. My artistic demons seem to need an invitation.
    To answer myself: I work a 40hr. week only tangentially related to Art. Saturdays are Art days as much as possible. Walk the assistants. To the downtown market early with Heather for tomatoes, bread and bagels, spring rolls, honey.

    Back to the house for maybe a little yard work/gardening. Ready to work by 11:30. Hopefully have canvas stretched or panels cut and prepared. Out back with my canine assistants. Listen to the awesome music program “American Routes” 12:00 – 2:00. David Dye – “World Cafe” after. Then maybe “This American Life” if I am in the mood. I have taken more to listening to the “Chatter inside my head” too. Sometimes I’ll listen to something roots rock’n acoustic/electric but funky (kind of like American Routes playlist.) Then I am literally dancing around while I “work.”

    Hopefully work long, free and happy and undisturbed w/o much brow furrowing depending on how cooperative those demons are acting. Cocktails after 4:00(ish.) Post cocktail assessment.

    Sundays maybe I’ll have a prayer of repeating the above w/o the radio trifecta and around more husbandly and homeownerly pursuits. Early, early mornings and some evenings I’ll work inside a small room, no music, assistants curled up, doing more detailed, restrained work looking for the balance.

  5. Oh they are great questions, and I’m interested in that book CC, thanks for the post.

    Until 2 years ago, I worked full time but most of the year could take Mondays off to paint. After a year of living here I stepped out of the workplace and my Nearest became my patron and I’m making art full time for the first time. Since the new studio was built I’ve been working at painting 5 days a week, or printing or sketching. Something every day.

    My morning always starts by walking the Assistant, and it does seem to wake me up too :-]

    By 9am I’m in the studio – rarely earlier. After 25 years of starting work at 9am, I don’t even try to break the habit. I have a little coffee machine, as good coffee is 100km away, and the little cup gets carried up into the backyard to signal the start of the working day.

    There is often ‘nesting’ to start off – moving stuff, cleaning up yesterdays mess a bit. Open the big door and windows, turn on fan, morning radio talks to me for a while. Chat to the Assistant about the day.

    I find more than music, I can become completely lost in time if I put on an audio book. These days it’s so easy, being able to download them from the public library. I’d listen to 1-2 books a week. Music is the thing I turn on if I’m flagging, definitely something to dance, tap, sing to.

    Sometimes at Wine O’clock a glass finds it’s way into the studio, and yes some assessment and adjustment to the days daubing happens. If energy permits I’ll stay working past dark, then head back ‘home’ to focus on food.

  6. I used to have a better painting schedule but since the economy tanked twelve or so years ago, I find I’m having to take more time in another part of the studio doing illustration and calligraphy for a publishing house to make up for paintings that aren’t selling as they once did. Though….have we not all heard: ‘I like your old work better…’????? ha. Me? I think my newest works are the best so far, usually. But, I’m still in there weekly, a few time a week. May only be to frame or mount paperwork or… but in there. I have had a diptych with black gesso waiting for me but the muse isn’t around for the past week + and I have been waiting for a big illustration job to come through and my mind has been on that….and the publishers are one month late in their schedule of sending it to me, so I’ve kinda been in limbo. don’t want to start painting, with illustration on my mind.
    Music? I used to like silence, but for the past 6 or 7 years I have fallen for listening to Glen Hansard while painting…his group, The Frames or his other one, The Swell Season or his newer solo album. This guy’s lyrics grab my heart. I also listen to a friend of his from Ireland, Fergus O’Farrell and his group, Interference. Heard him in the film ONCE and have loved his music ever since. Even have an email acquaintanceship going with him and he is also a visual artist and we exchanged prints. Love music and am constantly inspired by these two fellows’ lyrics.
    My studio is hot or cold with the weather, but I find it doesn’t matter if I’m working. I have had sweat run down my face while painting and I hardly notice. Also, just bundle up in everything I own to paint during the winter months. Easy.
    In my dreams, I would have an assistant to simply clean my studio daily or weekly for me. I have painted in it for twenty years now and Francis Bacon had little on me for filthy studios, sigh.

  7. So good to hear from you Nolan. Carey’s questions are helpful in bringing out all the artists with their interesting lives…letting us see how alike we are , and how different. I love your pond. It is so tranquil… a beautiful focal point. I am going to have to listen to some of the music you recommended. Cheers! cx

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