Uninterrupted Time


Armand Cabrera

If you are serious about being an accomplished artist, uninterrupted time is important to the success of any painting endeavor.  When you have a series of interconnected problems to solve like you do with painting a picture your undivided attention is paramount.

 This goes double for people learning how to paint or those trying to improve their painting ability. If you want to be a painter you have to put in quality time and effort not just go through the motions in a haphazard nonchalant approach.

No matter how good of a painter you become you never want to coast on your ability. Each painting should leave you mentally exhausted and emotionally and spiritually drained at the end of each working session.  As one of my workshop instructors used to say if it doesn’t do that you aren’t doing it right.
For me, carving out enough time to accomplish my painting commitments means not answering the phone, staying off the computer and just getting down to the business of picture making. Inevitably this usually means late hours when our busy house is at rest the rest of the world is asleep and no other living thing is competing for my time and focus.
This applies to outdoor work as well as studio work. While I am willing to be pleasant to people who  show an interest in my work  I politely remind them that I have a limited amount of time to finish my painting while the light is changing and I really can’t talk too long while working. Most people are respectful of my time and understand the situation I’m in.
Technology seems to be the biggest distraction for people these days. All of the information that is available to us scatters our thinking and breaks one’s concentration. Of course, personal devices are set to chime or beep to let you know some new useless piece of drivel that could have waited is available to you right now if you would just look. I also believe that overuse of these conveniences trains a person to not be able to focus for long periods of time.  The only cure is discipline and the knowledge that unless you’re Warren Buffet or Bill Gates, what you’re doing doesn’t necessitate that much importance and actually keeps you from achieving your goals in the long term.

4 thoughts on “Uninterrupted Time

  1. Beautifully said. I struggle often with "tech ADHD" syndrome. That is one reason I enjoy plein air painting in my rural area of VA where there is no cell coverage–no option but to get lost in the work of painting and leave the social catching up for later.

  2. Armand, how did I ever miss your blog? Your thoughts on the invasion of technology into EVERY second of our lives mirrors my thoughts on the matter. The time when I am most creative is at about two o'clock in the morning, when everyone else is asleep. I always just thought I was a night owl, but after having read your thoughts on this I am wondering if deep down I am most creative when the rest of the world around me isn't starving for my attention.

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