One of the excuses I gave myself over the last few years for not drawing or painting was that “there’s not enough time.” This was, of course, bunkum. While free time has been a rarity ever since that big fat positive in summer 2011, there’s always been pockets of it to be found. Minutes rather than hours, sure, but time all the same. Instead, I wasted it online, consuming other peoples words and pictures rather than making my own, telling myself I didn’t have any time, that even the simplest sketch was too great an undertaking.
Well, nuts to that. As part of this year’s reboot of whatever creative spirit I’ve got left, and triggered by the daily action, I’ve learned to seek out those little pockets of potential in the day. One cracker is the 40 minute commute to work (of which more shortly). Also on workdays, there’s my lunch break – usually just half an hour, but still! 30 whole minutes!
That’s all very well for my three days a week at the office, but what about when I’m at home looking after Bagl? No doubt a time will come when I can cheerfully draw and paint with him around, joining in, playing or watching with awe, but we’re nowhere near that yet. And although I could save any drawing and painting until the evening, that means working without daylight – not so good for still-lifes, nigh-on impossible for any plein air pieces.
Now, there's naptimes. Bagl's naptimes are relatively short compared to other sprogs – 90 minutes – but it works for him and means a reasonable bedtime. I’d convinced myself that naptimes were far too busy to do any drawing. After all, there’s all the essential things to be done – washing to sort out and hang up, lunch and tea to prepare, cleaning and tidying, titting around on the internet… ah. Ahhhh.
Turns out, if you remove the internet from the naptime equation, there's still a decent chunk of time left after getting all the chores done. It's not enough time for me to, say, write a novel
, but a quick watercolour or oil painting? Go on! Sad to say, this realisation only hit me earlier this month, but I'm trying to make up for lost time.
Here, then, are the first three naptime oil paintings, all up for sale at £45 a pop (or with a nifty mini-easel display for a few dollers more) – two landscapes of the view from Castle Von Naggle, and a still-life of a halved tomato, each one painted in around 30/40 minutes, resulting in nicely expressive brushstrokes as I worked quickly to get everything down before young master woke. It's a pleasantly frantic way to work and shakes me nicely out of my comfort zone. And rather than beat myself up about the thought of how many paintings/drawings I could've got done over the last few years, better to think about all those future pieces waiting to be made. Well, until the boy drops his nap, then I'm nobbled…
Oil on canvas board (£45)
Oil on canvas board (£45)
Oils on canvas board (£45)