Always Rushed

Finding time to paint is often the most difficult part of being an artist – for me at least. One would think painting and making art would be the easiest. A few things that keep me from the easel…

  1. Household chores
  2. Social life (on and off-line)
  3. Laziness – Sometime I just want to binge-watch a series on Netflix.
  4. Too much planning and thinking about what I need before I start. Remember, perfection is the enemy of good. Just get started, perfection has a way of revealing itself and in art, there is no perfect image.
  5. Money – I really hate wasting paint and when I commit to squeezing it out of the tube, I intend to use it. Therefore, it is easy to talk myself out of painting because I don’t have the time to knock out a full session (3-5 hours). TIP: use a glass palette, use Glad Press and Seal to cover your paint if you need to stop and start your sessions hours apart or if you have something that comes up (like that grass mowing before the storm hits).

I only had an hour in the studio but plan to return in a few hours. The Glad Press & Seal will keep the paint wet enough to use later. © Michael Warth

All of these things involve time. If there was ample time set aside to make art, or at the very least a strict schedule for making art, I believe I could eliminate all five of the major things that keep me away from the easel. I’m sure there are a multitude of other reasons to procrastinate, I just wanted to share my experience. Distractions and things out of our control also prevent us from making art but don’t sweat the things out of your control. I have found the frustration associated with things out of my control actually reduces available time because when I’m back in the studio I find myself anxious and at times angry from events out of my control. Why worry?

Have a great day, and make every moment in the studio count.

Finally Back At It – Officially

As many of you know the last few months have been a challenging, albeit overwhelming time for me. A lot of what made life difficult is not important but what I can say is that I am finally moved into my new house, the Jeep (Wilma) is broke down, and I have some pretty awesome accommodations at the new place.

Still a work in progress, the attic studio is a great quiet place away from the world of chaos. – © Michael Warth

First off, I have an attic studio which is rustic, not too hospitable, but a bit of a man-cave where I can write at a proper desk, smoke a cigar when I want to, have a drink, work on some artwork, or simply enjoy music or watch TV. In fact I am writing this very post on an old writing desk I planned to give away years ago, while sipping a beer, and listening/watching the movie, Skyfall (James Bond, 2012). A few well placed antique lamps, chairs, tables and an easel make the space quite comfortable for me. The fact I am out of the house, yet only a 20 second walk away, makes the attic studio a nice getaway where I can be as loud as I want to be or enjoy the peace and quiet. Did I mention my neighbors? I live by a cemetery on one side, state park on one side, and everyone else is at least a tenth of a mile away separated by trees and more trees.

Inside the main house, I have a proper studio and office with a few easels and a drawing table. I find the space perfect for working a sight-size style still life, working from photos, and simply drawing while still having the convenience of running to the kitchen for the perfect snack or taking a break to watch whatever binge-worthy show is on TV. 

Painting en plein air near my home at the local state park. © Michael Warth

The Jeep breaking down really hampered my plans this fall. I wanted (and still have plans) to become much more productive painting en plein air using the pochade box setup but I guess it is what it is. With the 7 acres of woods I am sitting on, there are still many opportunities to paint outside. The fact that I am only a mile and a half from thousands of acres of state park land, I am sure I can find something to do.

I could ramble on about what I am up to and I could share countless stories of the past few months. Just know, I am doing short videos (I’m planning a YouTube Channel for the videos), I am busy making art, and I am busier than ever. I still do the occasional photoshoot, and I even do a few commercial photo assignments from time to time but I am prodigious at standing at the easel these days. The peace and closeness to the woods have inspired me beyond comparison and I am happy that we moved away from town.

The only downside is that I seem to always be working and I don’t have as much free time to spend with friends. Yes, I cancel my artistic plans often and find myself less than productive when a friend calls but I say, “no” more than I want to when someone asks me to hang out. In fact, I got a text from a great friend today when I was painting. It’s just too expensive to scrape up the oil paint and stop every time I get a chance to hang out. I know, I know, we all need decompression time with people we care about but I also must make art. The anxiety I get when I think of not making enough art before I die can be wicked crazy at times.

This blog post is more of a ramble than I cared to write but I needed to share. I want you all to know I am working and I am happy. I’ve learned that my personal well-being is directly tied to having a place to relax alone and make art. I need time in front of the easel, at the keyboard, or simply away from distractions. I look forward to what the future holds for Michael Warth Studios…I hope you stick around too!

Mike