The work of art

Photo by Perry Nelson

I have been painting full-time for a full year.  It was at this time in 2017 that Heather and I returned from Cambodia.  We had been in southeast Asia helping with Bracelets For Buildings after I had wrapped up my 3 and a half year tenure with United Way.  I was in the final flurry before Christmas, intent on getting all of my Christmas commissions done in time for the big day.  I'm in a similar place right now, with three of four more projects to complete by the end of the weekend.

In the middle of creating more new work, I've been selling and auctioning gallery canvas prints, creating boxes, making multiple trips to the post office, and myriad other tasks that are essential to keeping this creative endeavour moving forward.  Meanwhile, Heather has been handling all the accounting things, making sure clients receive invoices and receipts, tracking revenue and income, and doing all the backend stuff that is critical to running a good business.

I'm grateful for all the non creative tasks.  Building boxes, taking in inventory, doing recycling, mailing packages and cleaning up the studio all get my body moving in a different way which ultimately helps my creativity.  It's a balance and after a year of working this artistic life, I think we have figured out a good one.

All that said, I'm looking forward to getting all the Christmas commissions complete and being able to move into the next phase of creation.  I have a number of non-Christmas related requests and many different ideas for paintings that I'm itching to get to.

I called our printer yesterday to check up on something.  They are also running flat out trying to keep up with the massive number of orders received requiring Christmas delivery.  My friends at Canada Post are in a similar spot, managing an escalating number of customers.  We are also seeing our courier on an almost daily basis as boxes of gallery canvas prints arrive at our front door.  We have a number of essential suppliers and service providers and we are grateful to them all.

I can't imagine how many paintings and canvas prints will be unwrapped on Christmas morning.  The one year of painting full-time experiment was a success.  I think it's safe to say we're going to try it again for another year and see where it takes us.


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