A Day In The Life Of An Artist
For a bit of a different kind of post today, it’s time to step into my tiny shoes and discover just what a day in the life of an artist is all about!
First – I must confess that I am not a full-time artist, but I work full-time from Monday to Friday so that I can spend my weekends the way I want to. Saturday and Sunday are my two artistic days, and I do as much as possible (in between boring housework and other stuff) and what I’m sharing below is not a single day, but a mix-up of what might take place over a typical day of painting, planning and more.
I’m usually a fairly early riser on the weekend, between 6:30am and 7:30am, but I don’t always hit the studio until after 10am, as life has to get in the way: dog has to be walked and fed, errands ran etc. On the occasions I do start early, I like to have a bit of gentle music to wake me up (without waking up my husband), so I’ll pick an instrumental playlist that’s barely audible at two paces. Of course, the kettle’s on at this point too!
Time to start painting: I’ll probably consult my notes from the previous painting session and make sure that I’m still mixing the right colours (it’s happened before) and that I’m using the same brushes. Oh and never, ever mix up tea with your paint palette, particularly if you’re using oils.
Often times during my painting, I’ll hear a little tack-tack-tack of claws and will be joined by Luna. She likes a bit of a lie-in, but she also likes breakfast and a morning cuddle.
Good Morning Mummy! Is it breakfast time yet?
All things going well, I’ll be able to paint smoothly for around two hours or so – I don’t do marathon sessions at the easel but prefer to take regular little breaks. Even if it’s just standing back to check out the painting from afar or browsing my bookshelf for a few minutes.
Emergency snack time! And back to the painting for another hour or so until lunch time. Take quick notes before I leave the easel, so I know precisely where I left off.
After lunch, on this particular occasion I was feeling inspired but decided that if I continued to paint I might lose concentration, burn out or risk getting carried away and making a mistake. So I washed up the brushes and decided to head out to our beautiful capital city, Valletta, to catch an hour or two outside before sunset.
Lower Barakka Gardens, stunning!
While Malta isn’t famous for its green spaces, the beautiful Baroque city has some spectacular gardens and views. While the harbour view is amazing, there were far too many people gathered at the edge of the bastions for little me to get a good view (or any pictures). Besides, I’m a nature lover, so I was far more interested in watching the leaves sway with the breeze, or the little girl whizzing past on her scooter in sheer bliss.
I found a bench beside the small fountain, soothed by the sound of rushing water, and didn’t really have a plan for a sketch or anything in mind. However, there were a few interesting shapes and organic textures in the trees a short distance away from me, so I focused my attention there, plugged in to Spotify – more instrumentals, please, and grabbed my sketchbook.
Inevitably, in winter the sun fades too soon and the breeze started to pick up. Getting rather chilly, it’s time to head home.
During the week, my evenings will be spent painting, however, on a weekend I have the opposite routine. I’ll paint all morning and do all the technical/fiddly stuff during the evening. I might update my Etsy shop, answer some emails, check up on the latest open art shows and competitions, and chances are I’ll write or plan a blog post or two.
Obligatory Instagram scrolling and being distracted by pretty pictures of space.
Then it’s pretty much dog walk, dinner and bed. It can be a little bit exhausting fitting creativity into a weekend, but it gives me a much needed boost for the rest of the week when normal life resumes. I usually don’t clean up after a painting session: I prefer the jumble of brushes and paints as a little reminder of where I am in the painting process. Once the painting is completed, the studio will get tidied and cleaned…until the next one!
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