Here I am, sitting in a café somewhere in Amsterdam behind my laptop. I’m surrounded by other laptop workers and I’m wearing regular clothes. I mean, clothes without paint on them! You might think I must miss my studio heaps, but the truth is, I don’t mind being away from it all for a bit. I hate leaving, especially when I’m working on stuff I can’t finish, but the plane we booked months ago can’t be rescheduled so no sense in kicking and screaming! But once I let go, it is funny to notice how quickly I’m fine with the situation and don’t mind a change of scenery.
People have often asked me if I need to keep practicing my drawing skills daily the way a musician has to. Interestingly enough that is not the case. On the contrary, I find that after a break of a few weeks or months, I’m more relaxed and find my technique is sometimes even better than before I took a break. I would find it very taxing to have to practice daily like a musician to keep my drawing skills up to par!
Our house is on the left of this beautiful canal.
So what do I do when I’m not painting do you ask? I’m always amazed at how long my todo list is! How wonderful it would be if the only thing I have to do daily, is paint, paint, and paint. Unfortunately, there is more to being a painter than just paint! Among other things, I have to:
- Maintain my website (add new work, write for my blog, organize the occasional sale etc)
- Meet with a sewing studio to talk about creating a prototype beach tote I’m thinking of creating,
- Chat with customers, there is always a question here and there about ordering,
- Investigate a new art printing partner because of better shipping rates,
- Work out an exhibition plan,
- Edit time-lapses of painting processes
It is actually a good thing I don’t have my paints nearby because this way my workload is a bit more singleminded and I don’t have to be frustrated that it takes me a lot of time to work through this list and therefore can’t locate those hours to creating art.
One of the many wonderful buildings in this city.
Typical Amsterdam canal, very pretty.
Amsterdam also has some great benefits for an artist, that I don’t have on our little island. I always drop by the art supply store, where they know me well and more often than not order a lot of material, so I have enough to tide me over for a year. This time I think I’m good for the most part. I will need some mounting frames for my canvasses and some oil paint, but that is about it. Very frustrating is that my favorite brand oof oil paint Le Franc, seems to have stopped making their large tubes of oil paint. I can now only buy little tubes which are not only more expensive but it makes no sense to use tubes of which I squeeze out all the paint in one sitting! One more thing for my to-do list, look for a different brand! It has to be great quality paint, but also smooth enough because I hate paint that doesn’t want to leave their tube and you have to fight to get it out! I’ll figure it out!
Another thing I love, is to be surrounded by museums! We do have quite a lot of art initiatives on the island, but of course, it doesn’t compare to the options in this big city. I like to visit then alone, so I don’t have to wait for others, which is often the case because I like to move quick! I don’t seem to have the ability to store a lot of visual information when I'm in a museum, so I prefer to only look at art that attracts my attention. This means that sometimes I can be in and out of a museum in less then an hour!
We'll be enjoying this lovely city for another month and then we fly back home, where we left two and a half months ago! Luckily we have great weather, the city is even more beautiful with a bit of sun!