maria portrait


The Perfect Time to Paint

What's your Dream?

 I found this little old lady in a remote village called San Martin.

I found this little old lady in a remote village called San Martin.

Do you dream of painting or doing creative work full time, spending hours in your dream studio? Do you think thoughts like, "When this happens, I'll start."?

After college, my husband and I moved to Paraguay, South America. Life was very hard there and I struggled with infertility for years. Painting was my escape. I painted proficiently and sold over 150 watercolors in galleries and the embassy. 

When we returned to the States, 8 years later, my life was consumed with raising my toddlers and getting over trauma that had happened overseas. I tried to paint, but limited time and inspiration lead to a 5-year dry spell. 

With a little planning, NOW can be the perfect time to paint.

What's your excuse?

Excuse #1: The kids won't let me paint

 Carol Marine's daily painting

Carol Marine's daily painting

Carol Marine, author of Daily Painting, painted during her son's naptime. She had to do 6x6" quick studies, but it created a daily painting movement for her and hundreds of her followers. However, If you have 5 kids under the age of 5, you may not be able to start painting until they are old enough to clean your house for you and drive themselves to their jobs. My kids both have real jobs for the first time and it is marvelous!

Excuse #2: The boss won't let me paint

If you work full time, you may only be able to paint 1 hour a day or only on weekends. But, how will you be able to quit your day job and paint full time, if you don't start developing your art now? Your job will help finance your art, and over time, you'll be able to slowly cut down on your hours to transition into your dream of being a full-time artist.

Excuse #3: The bank account won't let me paint

The most expensive aspect of painting is the time it takes. Using a limited palette and cheap canvases doesn't have to be expensive. However, if we aren't financially free, we won't feel free to take the time to paint. I learned a lot from classes, conferences and podcasts from the Dave Ramsey people including the women's Business Boutique Academy.

I worked hard and saved money in cash envelopes. I photographed babies, dance studios, preschools, families, weddings and events. I even took on web design projects, logo projects, and corporate graphic design jobs to get my business in the black.

Now that I have regular photography clients, no credit card debt and money in a business savings account, I have the peace of mind to put painting a priority.

What's your plan?

Find a place

 Yesterday's "1-hour" painting (that actually took me about 3 hours)

Yesterday's "1-hour" painting (that actually took me about 3 hours)

Is your kitchen big enough for an art table? Do you have a spare bedroom you can convert to a studio? How about some basement space? You need a place big enough for a drafting table or artists easel, a few drawers and a cabinet for storage. Designate a space, put up an "artist at work" sign, put your bluetooth headset on and start painting!

Find a time

Find 1-3 hours a day and put it in your calendar. Call it work. Post your work on social media with the hashtag #dailypainting. People are very generous with compliments so you will be motivated to post again tomorrow.

Find a mentor

Few people have time to personally tutor you, but with technology, the best mentors are readily available to us through online courses, YouTube videos, ebooks, and podcasts. Here are some of the artists I've learned from this year:

My closing comments are deep and spiritual . . .

Carpe that diem, girlfriend!