Thursday 28 February 2013

So I just had a really productive 6 weeks - maybe deadlines help?

© The way the wind blows

Last month I was painting at the dining room table in Dorset because it was too cold out in the studio. I'd covered the table with plastic sheeting, put cardboard under the easel and hoped that oil paint would not get all over the furniture. Hubby was away for 6 weeks, I had two big canvasses on the go for a gallery + two commissions to complete.  All four pieces were very different. I had no other commitments, just the luxury of painting all day. I got up at 6.30 am, walked the dog and started work each morning by 9.30, painting steadily through the day until the light went.  Bliss!

The commissions were a success, the other two paintings have been delivered to the gallery and I am now back in my main studio in France, searching for fresh inspiration.  Looking back it was quite the most productive period I have experienced in the last year and I am wondering whether it was all because the work had a deadline. (Or could it just be that every time I headed out of the door I was surrounded by the countryside I love?  Every time I drove anywhere new ideas presented themselves. Can it be that the muse is so fickle it deserts me when I am not in exactly the right place?)

© Have you seen the others?

I know that for me deadlines do help, I found that when I was illustrating my children's book 'Violet a Very Special Hippo'.  The publisher moved the release date forward and I had a lot of illustrations to produce in a very short space of time.  It focusses the attention somewhat  and  I have found that I often produce better work as a result. I confess, much to my surprise, that I also like commissions, there is something satisfying about fulfilling a brief.  I always provide the caveat that should the client not like what I produce they do not need to buy and perhaps that alleviates the pressure a little.

Hey ho back to the easel - I need to produce some new work!

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