Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How I Start my Day in the Studio

I’m often asked, “How do you start?” The first thing I do after a brief walk to my Studio is prepare the place to be productive. Anything that does not serve me for the day’s painting assignments is put away out of sight. I prefer an organized studio when I create. The painting tables are covered with polyethylene and become my painting palettes. Next, Sirius Radio or Pandora sets the music atmosphere. Music helps me focus on the task at hand.

Always with me is my sketchbook with notes and painting assignments. Some mornings I play my electric drum set in the corner of the studio. It’s my “stretching exercise.” After an hour, I’m ready to paint. It’s 8:30am… like a real job!



Before painting, I journal in my sketchbook. I journal my dreams and thoughts to get them out of my head. My sketchbook is my toolbox of ideas. This becomes my “job description” and includes my daily four Cs. What’s the CONCEPT? The big idea. What’s the COLOR combination? Following my color wheel, I squeeze 4 tubes of predetermined colors, plus black and white right on the table. What’s the COMPOSITION? I have twelve to choose from. And the last C is a no-brainer - COMMITMENT to the concept. I’m a painter and I’m committed to the task at hand.



I start with small 6x9 inch warmup paint sketching consisting of a themed series. It’s my goofing around time - my play-in-the-sandbox -time. After an hour or so, it’s time to get into my purpose of the day - the larger body of work I’ve been painting for awhile, such as an exhibit series, my museum show or the Sausalito Art Festival. Once I start painting, I am all about production and flow, which lasts all day, uninterrupted. I paint without stopping this flow of “creative automatism.”

When I am invited to teach my “Loosen Up” painting workshops this is exactly how we begin everyday!

10 comments:

Jo Murray said...

A very productive routine!! Oh, if it was only easy to find time every day. Still, I manage a few hours most days and 'creative play' is the best loosening up exercise I know.

Cheryl Wilson - O'Pry said...

Thanks for sharing! Great reminder. I told my boys today in the drop off line to school, "It's days like this that I wish I was a FULL-TIME painter instead of a part-time painter." :)

Lisa Whitener said...

I hope to have that routine some day - if I live long enough! I could do it now but my mortgage company thinks I should keep a day job ;( Great advice Bob!

Maggie Ruley said...

Maybe I should get a drum set, sounds like fun.

Grinza Dayglo said...

Thanks for your inspiring sharing of your schedule. And I say inspiring because I am on a path of being able to be a full time painter as a living - have my pasion Be my life. I love your circus and bird paintings. Thanks again for your inspiration! Linda

Pattio said...

I spent quite a while visiting your blog today and you made me smile many times looking at your art and reading about your process. I love your work ethic.

Thanks for the smiles. :)

Louise said...

What an amazing, inspiring process! Thank you so much for sharing...

Tracy Verdugo said...

Bob you're such an inspiration! Hey and a little birdie told me you wouldnt mind coming to Australia to run a few workshops? Lets work on that shall we! Let me know what you think...I can organise the one in beautiful Jervis Bay :)

Charles said...

Your the kind of artist I admire because you don't feel fear to show what you have in your mind... I took some lessons of oil painting but I can't do anything because I think is gonna be wrong and everybody is gonna make fun of my job =(
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Sally Chupick said...

sounds like a good regimine;thanks for sharing it. you are very diciplined about painting, and I admire that.