Red Letter Day
Red letter day 80x80cm €2250 oil on canvas.
Top tips for a bad day in the studio
Yesterday was not a good day. I need to finish a large painting I’ve promised for an upcoming show but I just didn’t have it in me. It happens!
At my workshops I am often asked what to do when you have a bad day and just can’t paint. Now, I’m not talking about a major block just a bad day. So by way of example, here’s a look at how my work day went yesterday and some general thoughts around the problem.
Here’s what I did yesterday
- I went for walk
- I told myself to ‘just get the canvas prepared’ so I put on some talk radio and I painted the ground and while it dried I figured out the composition to paint and got everything ready.
- Then I had some tea & talked to a friend on the phone for 15mins or so.
- I told myself that considering how I was feeling that getting the underpainting started would be a good result. So I put on some music and started. I promised myself a tea break once I had a rough sketch done and I pushed myself to do it.
- Then I had a tea break.
- After that I decided that I should stop work on the painting. I was still in a fug and sometimes we need a little compassion. That said there’s always other stuff to do.
- I put in an order for new supplies
- Did some work on cataloguing paintings for the next two shows
- Answered some emails
- Photographed last weeks work
- Did some work on upcoming workshops
- and I started this post
So if you are struggling on a particular day here’s my top tips
- Split your task/s up into small bites
- Reward yourself after each part is achieved
- Look after yourself and make the job as pleasant as possible (cheat if you can)
- Keep going as long as you can but be realistic and don’t be a bully to yourself
- When you need to stop, stop.
- Take a break and then get on with something different.
Today is a new day
Today I’m feeling much better and I’m dying to see what that gold ground will look like under the blue I’ve planned for the background.