Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Studio: 12.01.10


A new, as-of-yet untitled painting in the studio-acrylic on canvas, 66 x 64 inches. I've been moving on with a lot of new things int he studio for a few months now and, thankfully, the momentum has been unabated. If I could afford to sqezze in another day in the studio instead of being at the job, I would in a hearbeat. However, making the most of what time I have now is working. It has to. I've had days where two hours of laser-focused studio activity have enabled me to get way more done than I thought was possible. 

I can't sustain that way of working, as I also need those days where I might have time to stand back and/or sit and contemplate on what's going on and what I might want to do next. Having that inner dialogue time with the work is as important as the time to experiment with materials, do research, day dream, and so on. The real important thing is to be with the work, regardless of how much time you have in the studio. Things don't progress unless you are in there dealing with it, whether that means physically working on something or just being in your work space thinking. I'm writing this from the standpoint of someone who relies on a physical space to make the work, and "dealing with it" can mean just about anything to a lot of people these days. However, from the standpoint of a painter, nothing changes until you're right there, engaging the work directly. 

6 comments:

vincenthawkins said...

"being at the job".. you know the job makes the work I do a day job but every third week I start a little later.. like this week I go in to work for 4 p.m. and I have the earlier part of day to paint- all week ! The job has had an enormous input to what and how I work and think and my attitude to 'practice'.. it has made a separation .. I AM two very different people .. the painter/ the 35 hour a weeker/jobber..
we are so adaptable we find ways to make it work for us

Pete Hoge said...

Just imagine an artist who has all
day to work, without distraction
yet cannot do anything because
they don't know how precious the
situation they have is.

For a year I have been supported
by Uncle Sam and that has given
me the chance to do art full time
but that only comes out to 2 or
3 hours of working on average.

For 20 years I had a day job
of some kind and I was always
too tired, or high on substances
to care about the dreams in my
head of being creative.

It is even worse when you have
a degree and everyone expects
you to produce.

I like what you say about being
in your workspace and just
thinking about the process.

I admire you chiefly because
your ego seems to be deflated
and that is rare...perhaps you
learned some hard lessons
about the ego...?

Tim McFarlane said...

Vincent: Thanks for commenting. I find that the job does give me time to think about the work, whcih is a good thing most of the time. Having that time away from the studio and concentrating on something else is just as helpful as being in the thick of it.

Pete: Thanks for writing. I know that if I did have all the time I wanted for art-making, I'd easily be able to spend 7-8 hours a day actully working.

Regarding ego- Arttists of any discipline have some measure of ego in order to sustain themselves, to practice their art and to just have the guts to put so much of themselves out there in the world. How one expresses and uses ego is another thing altogether.

The hard lessons about ego I witnessed through the actions of others. My upbringing had a lot to do with what you call a "deflated" ego. My parents wanted me to succeed at whatever I wanted to do, but that I wasn't better than the next person because of what I could do.

Pete Hoge said...

thanks for your insights...the
ego is my favorite topic!

david weir art said...

Great to come across your blog Tim, i enjoy your work and your words
Im in a really good position i have three kids to look after in the day and my wife brings home the pay so during the day i get to feel, think and be with my work and work for 5 hours minimum per night 7 days the other side is i have to much work filed away need more space. The time spent Dreaming ,thinking,learning its all the journey and what a journey it is. enjoy.

Tim McFarlane said...

David: Thank you for your comments and for reading! What's funny is that some people at my job seem amazed that I'm able to continue painting, work, and deal with home life. My answer is always the same: "I make it work", just like you do with your children and wife. I checked out your blogs and like what you're working on, also. You have a lot of good things going on. Nice work!