I was at the Denver Art Museum years ago, after the new Hamilton building—which houses the museum’s modern art—opened. One of the exhibits described an artist who had 500 large sheets of paper delivered to his studio every day. Using a marker, he made 500 drawings a day as a warm-up to his time in the studio. I wish I could remember the name of the artist.
The best way to become a better artist is to create a lot of art.
While this concept is not new, many artists have not embraced it, and I’m one of them. I do more on some years and less on others.
I retired in late 2008. That year, I created four paintings. Since then, this has been my annual output of paintings:
- 2008 – 4
- 2009 – 2
- 2010 – 7
- 2011 – 32
- 2012 – 21
- 2013 – 18
- 2014 – 12
- 2015 – 3
- 2016 – 3
I haven’t spent much time in my studio since the end of 2015. There are several reasons for this. First of all, our daughter had our first grandchild, an awe-inspiring little one named Hunter in April 2016. I’d rather spend time with him than just about anything else.
Then, we moved (after 22 years) to a smaller home in October 2016. Once we were half settled, and I had unpacked and arranged my new art studio, we decided we didn’t like the house enough to stay there. So in February 2017, I packed up the studio again so we could put the house on the market. It sold in two days. Then we started the process of finding a house to buy.
After five weeks of looking at every possible house, we decided to stay where we were. The problem is that in Denver, at least, there are many, many buyers, but not very many houses on the market. With our requirements and budgetary restrictions, we couldn’t find anything even though we looked at 45 houses.
So, to recap . . . in August 2016, I packed up my studio. In October 2016, I unpacked it and got it all set up. In February 2017, I packed it all up again to declutter the house and get it ready to put on the market. Now, in April, I am in the process of unpacking it again and setting it all up – and doing so in half the amount of space I had at our old house.
I dedicated 2016 to my writing, which didn’t leave me much time for painting. I wrote four books last year. Three of them are e-books available to download from Amazon onto any mobile device. I want to try to get the fourth one published by a traditional publishing house but I need to edit it one more time (which is edit number 6) before sending it to agents.
If you’d like to read more about the books I write, the book reviews I written, when I’m giving away free books or write the occasional blog post, you can find it all on my writing website, https://www.susanlstewart.com.
Among my books is “Stop Dieting Forever: A natural, healthy way to lose weight” that explains how I stopped dieting and lost 100 pounds without surgery, special eating restrictions, etc.
“Unjustly Accused,” is the true story of a man and a few friends from work who decided to go to the Dominican Republic for a four-day weekend. It sounded like a good idea, until he and a friend were falsely arrested on drug trafficking charges, convicted and sentenced to one-to-three years in Najayo, a notorious Dominican Republic prison. This novel explores the insurmountable odds he faced and the daring escape he planned and executed.
“How to pack for a 3-week vacation with only a carry-on” is based on a personal experience when my husband and I went to Italy for three weeks and only took one carry-on each. Traveling with a carry-on was a great experience and I’ll never pack a large suitcase again!
That you for visiting my art site!
Susan L Stewart