their work and words, interviews, blogs, images, hints, tips, websites
and more...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Making Time

This can be a tough challenge for a lot of us, especially if you work outside the home, have kids or other family responsibilities, or are traveling with non-artists!  One thing I do is let myself just do a LITTLE bit, if that’s all I have time for.  A quick sketch, with a bit of color.  Even five minutes is better than nothing...


Set a time that’s YOURS, and stick with it.  Make an appointment with yourself.  If you absolutely HAVE to break that appointment, don’t get upset, just reschedule, and then keep that one.       


If it helps, find someone to do art with...perhaps having more than one will help you find time, especially if you have a responsibility to them (and to yourself!) 

Enlist your family’s help.  Let them know this IS important to you!  You’ll be a better spouse, parent, son, daughter, whatever, if you have time to express your creative side.

I always make use of waiting time to sketch...makes the time pass a lot faster, allows me time to be creative when I might not otherwise, and it helps keep me on an even keel!


Sketch in time that’s otherwise wasted–waiting for a plane or your meal in a restaurant or the doctor’s office.  You may not be able to get out the whole paint set, but you CAN do a sketch and paint it in later if you wish. 


Turn off the TV, don’t text, don’t grab a newspaper or magazine or even a book in those moments that might otherwise pass unnoticed–sketch instead!  (Thoreau once wrote “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.”  Our sketches may not be eternal, but you WILL be amazed at how much more time you have to be creative.  If you need more encouragement, I’ll bet you find something that speaks to you here: http://www.quotegarden.com/carpe-diem.html

(People often ask me how I get so much done...that’s how!  I turned off the TV in 1997, and only occasionally watch a video.  I get our small local newspaper with real people news–I figure any serious news I need will show up on the computer...)


If you know time’s at a premium, just try for pen, pencil, and perhaps a little watercolor kit and a waterbrush, if you’re working small.  (If you’re working larger–9" x 12" or larger–you’ll want bigger brushes and a decent source of water.)

Make Like A Boy Scout and BE PREPARED

One thing I do that makes it easy to find creative time is keep art supplies handy, in a variety of places in my house, in my purse/field bag, and in my Jeep.  I’ve even got a little set next to my bed, as well as one by the couch and one by my computer. That way if I find myself with a bit of time, I can pick up a little watercolor set, a pencil or pen or two, and go to it!

Note: One big advantage to buying tube paints and creating your own pan colors, which we discussed in this post, is that you can make LOTS of these little watercolor sets from only a few tubes, and keep them everywhere.  You don’t have to fill the pans all the way up, I’ve got watercolor sets that have had the same paint in them for years–it all depends on how often you use them!

And as some people have said–if you REALLY want to find the time, you will.


Finding time is one of the things on our poll in the right-hand sidebar--if you haven't voted for what you'd most like to see on this blog, please feel free!


  1. I do most of the things you wrote about here. Thanks for the idea of adding a paint set/drawing pens next to my bed. I normally read myself to sleep at night, but I guess I could draw there as well.

    My DH has become very good at suggesting I take my art pad into a resturant at lunch to draw when he's along. Probably because he has a newspaper he wants to read...but still, he's become more thoughtful about giving me "public time" to draw when we are together.

  2. Hooray for your husband, Lynn, and hooray for YOU.

  3. Oh I am so glad you said that about the tube paints. When a dear Relative of mine died a few short years ago, I inherited her Art supplies and there were some watercolor tubes still good and a round covered plastic disk full of what she put out and was using and I was wondering if they were still good. I am only recently getting into watercolors and journaling. I have always done Oils. Now I am hooked on journaling using watercolors.

  4. Just read your book & absolutely loved it - so inspiring - so I really really MUST make time to try to learn to draw & paint now - have read your book from cover to cover & now have next to my bed to dip into as the illustrations make me feel in a happy mood before I go to sleep !
    Thanks for sending your book out into the world for us wistfully hoping to learn to being artists ! Ali xx

  5. Cris, what a treasure! Yes, use them! And Ali, thank you so much...how wonderful. I have all my terrific contributors to thank...

  6. Great ideas! Thank you! I agree with you about television. I cancelled my cable two years ago and have not missed it at all.

    I am going to make some simple little art kits today and put them near my favorite places for wasting time .... the recliner for example!

  7. No, we read a lot when we want to relax and be entertained...no commercials! And I LOVE my little art kits...I'm sure I do more since it's soooo convenient. One less excuse!

  8. Thank you Kate for your advice! It's very difficult for me to start journaling when I can read or surf the net instead. I will try to use all the information I got from here in my everyday routine.

  9. Oh, I love reading too! But being creative and responding is still more compelling.


We'd love your feedback...please share your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...