PLEIN AIR

Tips for Painting En Plein Air

Who Has the Time?

Todd Saal

Todd Saal, Nashville, TN

February 5, 2018

Have you ever set out to do something, only to tell yourself you don’t have the time? Me too. It’s one of the most common things I hear from folks who tell me they paint but would like to try painting outdoors but they just can’t find the time.

Who hasn’t said it at one time or another? Whenever I hear myself saying this in general, I realize I need to evaluate the things I’m doing. I wish I had a dollar for every time I said “where did the time go” at some point during the day. We’re all given the same 24 hours in each day. Our time gets consumed with many of the obvious things such as work, eating, and sleeping. Then add the time spent with family and family. It leaves very little time to do much else.

When I was working in the technology field, which was a 24/7/365 career. Finding any quality time for myself was always rare. Many times I’d be so tired that any real downtime was spent on the couch watching some mindless TV in order to turn the brain off and recharge.

“I wish I had a dollar every time I said “where did the time go” at some point during the day”

What has helped me manage my time more efficiently is I started to live and breathe by a calendar. The first thing I did during this time was track what I actually did during the day. I then analyzed and prioritized. A calendar gave me a way to manage and focus on my priorities. In order to stay focused on what I wanted to accomplish I had to come to terms that there’s always too much too do every day. Being efficient on what I was spending my time on is what worked for me. Whenever I feel I’m not getting enough done, I know I’m not following this. There always something else that can seem more important. And sometimes that’s something is to just do nothing, decompress and recharge. Just accept it and don’t beat yourself up about it.

Now that I’m a fulltime artist, there are many things to take care besides just painting. I still plan and schedule my week. No different than any other business. There’s time to get out, paint and be creative. Time to write blogs, follow up on phone calls, do research and tend to many other business matters. We’re all incredibly busy and there’s always an excuse not to do something. Maybe you’re primarily a studio artist and just getting into painting outdoors. Or maybe you have a full time job and just want to try painting outside while you get some fresh air. Get the most out of the time you have available. Schedule it, remove the stress, so you can just have fun.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas on how we can find the time to get outdoors, have a little fun and paint. Next week we’ll get outdoors and breathe some fresh air. Till next time, keep creating…

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Todd Saal
Todd Saal is an American artist and musician currently residing in Nashville TN.
© 2017 Todd Saal. All rights reserved.
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