Since I have been a parent, my typical day as a painter starts with waking up between 6 and 6:30 am. I have a clear head in the morning and I have learnt to appreciate this early start as it allows me to catch up with any writing l have to do.
Everyone else in the house is up by 7:30 and then l enjoy spending quality time with the family. I help my boys with their homework and get them ready for school. I really appreciate these enjoyable family moments. I look forward to the short walk to school. On the way back I have the opportunity to start thinking about my first tasks in the studio.
For the next three hours its time to put my head in the rabbit hole. First, I remove all distractions from the studio as I don’t want to be reactive to any outside influences. Then l immerse myself in painting. This typically takes me until my stomach lets me know its lunch time.
If I have managed to achieve all this by lunchtime I feel like I have already won the day. I have completed sixty minutes or so of writing. Ninety minutes with my family and two to three hours of painting. Now that my main priorities are achieved, I see the rest of the day as flexible. If I still feel inspired, I can return to the studio or I can get on with business or home tasks until it’s time to pick the children up from school.
I always look forward to walking to school and being able to ask the children about their day. I then spend the rest of the day with the family. I may do some reading, writing or play games with the family or even do fitness exercises. If I have any free time, I try to catch up on what is left of my business tasks or studio tasks.
Then the only task left to do is to decide what am going to paint the next day.
Ernest Hemingway offered this advice for writing, but I think it suits any creative activity. “The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel, you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.” I have found the advice very valuable.