Robert Genn in a recent post outlined six items every budding artist needs in their “kit”:

  • Time: Set aside a time every day. It should be at least an hour, preferably a lot more. Include weekends and statutory holidays.

  • Space: Find a space that is always yours–where you can set up and work in continuity. It need not be large, but it ought to be yours.

  • Series: Do a series of explorations toward tangible goals–say 100 pieces of work in one direction or another. Then start another series.

  • Media: Choose a medium that intrigues you. Realize that the potential of all media is going to be greater than at first realized. Be prepared for frustration.

  • Books: “How-to” and art-history books are better than ever. They are your best teachers and friends. With books, you can grow at your own speed and in your own direction.

  • Desire: Know that desire is more important than any other factor. Desire comes from process. Process reinforces desire and desire becomes love. You need love in your kit.

Of these, I have only a few, and the main one that is lacking is space. For me, all things seems to descend from having the space to do work in. Music, art, writing; at the moment I only seem to have space for my computer and it’s peripherals, so I only seem to focus on creating and occupying that arena.

Having space means I would not need to worry about unpacking and setting things up before I set down to paint, nor packing things up and putting them away again. This is a serious enough impediment that I don’t ever get down to doing any painting other than once a week in class.