My wife and I were talking recently about how I rarely take breaks from art-making. She mentioned how important it would be for not only me, but my art as well. It’s so easy to get caught in the “zone” of a painting and then move to the next project. It’s as if the whole outside world shuts off and the only thing that exists is this project and your hand that is making it. Almost like a what runner’s call a “runner’s high” where you are seemingly floating or in my case “flowing” without effort. It can be euphoric for sure.
However, my wife is referring to all the ins and outs of being an artist. She means taking a break from art-making, but also the not-so-glamorous side of being an artist: uploading work to the online galleries, writing descriptions for each piece of work, building canvas stretchers and wood panels, priming said canvas stretchers and wood panels, contacting galleries for representation and exhibition opportunities, taking slides of each piece of work created, optimizing and color correcting the slides of artwork, updating my inventory database, updating my website, writing show proposals, etc. It is a constant and I need those reminders that it’s okay and even needed to take breaks.
So I took a break yesterday to play on my 1953 Buick, Naomi. I’m currently finishing up the interior trim after recently installing a new headliner. One of our dogs, Hank, a little Pekingese/Shih-Tzu mix sat in the backseat while I worked along. I started thinking about who all put there hands on this machine while it was in the factory being built all those years ago. What frustrations and satisfactions did they experience while putting these vehicles together day in and day out. I find it quite fascinating and ironic that I find relief and break in a hobby that was someone else’s blood, sweat and tears. Someone else’s 9-5 is now a hobby of mine. Maybe back then, someone worked at the Buick plant in Flint, MI and came home to draw or paint landscapes or nature. One person’s work becomes another person’s hobby and vice versa.