Wednesday, January 26, 2011

confession of an addicted artist

Here I am painting in Arizona at the Superstition Mountains during

the Oil Painters of America National Show in Scottsdale 2010

Okay, I confess, my name is Susan and……my addiction…. I am a binge painter. Once I start painting, I can’t quit. Sometimes I go at a fevered pitch for weeks. Then in exhaustion, I stop and sometimes don’t pick up the brush for several weeks. While I am painting, all responsibilities are forgotten. Dinner? (Really?) House cleaning,( never think of it). Groceries…. (Surely there must be another can that I can open)….. even exercise is lost in the blur of paint and canvas. I even forget to drink water. Fortunately I am married to a wonderful artist that understands all this and he has a wonderful pace in life. If it weren’t for Howard, I would never think about lunch. He makes wonderful morsels that beckon me to pause and join him.

Why am I telling you all this? Because this year I have decided to learn the fine art of pacing myself when I paint. Sounds normal I know, but when I am in my right side of the brain, well, that is all that exists. Time and all the “To Do” lists are forgotten, banished to the other side of the brain and lost. Not a bad place to be, unless you want to actually be a part of the living world around you.

So this is my plan. Limiting myself to 3 to 6 hours of painting a day (exceptions for deadlines, of course), I will be able to lead a normal life…. At least that is the plan. Also, I will be painting everyday without those long “drying out” periods when I finally throw myself at the bookkeeping, office work, domestic chores, etc. This way, there will even be time, on a daily basis to exercise (my heart will thank me), maintain a healthy office and smooth flowing home life. Ahhh sounds so perfect. Is this what left brainers enjoy everyday?! Lists that actually get accomplished, order to their lives, dinner on the table, hmmm, very interesting.

I think I am going to like it!


  1. C'est cela les artistes...ils vivent leur passion, mais tu as pris de bonnes résolutions..tu nous en diras un peu plus d'ici quelque temps.

  2. Best of luck to you Susan! I have been trying to do this myself. Its a difficult transition, I feel torn on a daily basis. I still procrastinate on the paperwork and chores. Although I could stand to miss a meal or two I do manage to get dinner on the table. I think what you will find wonderful is that you won't get so burnt out and you won't have to completely rebuild your life every time you come up for air. I have to say you have done some spectacular and ambition work during those painting frenzies!