My Painting Habit

3 11 2012


One of the things I do outside of work is paint. I paint because I have always painted, because I have studied painting, and because I love painting, and because I can’t imagine not doing something creative with my time away from work.

At this point in my life, it’s a hobby, but like most of my hobbies (see hockey, ice), I’m serious about it. Earlier today, I hung a solo art show in a big gallery space. It includes 24 pieces of artwork, six of which are new.

When I sent the announcement for this exhibition to a friend and fellow dad, he asked, “How the hell do you find the time?”

I responded, “Easy. Everything else in my life suffers.”

“Square Roots”

While I was being glib, there is some truth to my answer. The key is not in finding the time, but rather in making the time. After all, none of us are given more than 24 hours in each day to accomplish the things we need to get done. And so it comes down to discipline. I exercise (something else that takes discipline) less, I spend less time relaxing each night, I carve out a half hour here and there to take care of the business end of putting up an art show.

I write blog posts like this at 2 AM, when I should be sleeping.

Life is all about choices. Some short-term, some long-term. And while I can make allowances for finite bursts of time, I cannot sustain getting only 5-6 hours of sleep a night; my family cannot sustain less contact with me (or maybe they can); I cannot allow my work to suffer.

So I’m not pursuing a career change (art doesn’t pay nearly as handsomely as high tech), but I am doing something I love, taking it seriously, and keeping my hand in the game.




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