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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tips for Balancing Art and Life

A friend and I were talking the other day about how I manage to paint regularly.  She asked about my painting schedule.  I told her I generally try to paint first thing after breakfast and work until lunch.  I take off a couple hours to eat, check email, and often do a little art business.  If I don't have other errands to run then I paint more in the afternoon.  I stop no later than 6 pm since I prefer to paint when there is natural light.  When I find the number of painting hours start to shrink I try to remind myself what Chen-Khee Chee suggested when I took a workshop from him some years ago; he said he starts painting each day at 8am and puts in a full day.  I’m not sure how he is able to prioritize his art over everything else, but I admire that he can and know I am a much happier person when I can paint a full day.

Takes More than Walking
After I gave this answer my friend asked, but when do you exercise, clean, shop?  I told her I try to restrict chores to weekends; I find exercise to be the hard part.  Ideally, I go for a walk during my lunch time break.  Sometimes I do stretching and some core strengthening exercises first thing after I getup.  Sometimes I do arm exercises with weights after I stop painting for the day and before dinner.   Unfortunately, I am not very consistent about any of these and, as a result, don’t really get enough exercise.  In fact I wear an arm band by Body Media that monitors my activity each day.  I can compare the calories I burn with the calories I consume in an attempt to balance and maintain my weight.  The answer is not what I’d like most weeks. 

I started wondering what others do to manage life and painting.  I hope you will share your ideas.

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I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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