As I mention in my bio, I’ve been painting professionally for more than twenty-five years and I have worked with galleries throughout Europe and the United States. I’ve been fortunate in that my work has been well received, and I’ve had success selling my paintings. Probably my greatest challenge as an artist has been balancing my time and being able to devote consistent effort to my work, particularly as my family has grown.
Only now can I fully appreciate the luxury I once enjoyed of having vast expanses of time to spend at my easel, from early morning to late at night, with no interruptions. These days I channel my creativity in brief intermissions, between walks to the park, school carpools, family dinners and weekend activities. Because these days, in addition to my work as an artist, I am also a full-time stay at home dad, caring for my beautiful one-year-old daughter and serving as chauffeur, short order cook, dishwasher, school lunch packer, homework task-master, disciplinarian and playmate to my two school age sons.
When our daughter arrived just over a year ago, my wife and I decided to wait and allow our family time to adapt before hiring full-time help. So when my wife went back to work after three months I stepped in to cover the next three months. And three months stretched to six. And then nine. And now I can’t imagine hiring someone to care for this amazing, precious, stunning little person full-time.
I do try to get a sitter once or twice a week so I can have some uninterrupted time in the studio to work on large projects or finish up details on a painting that’s nearly dry – but there are plenty of weeks when this just doesn’t work out. So I paint when I can, sneaking into my studio during naptime, painting in the evening, on weekends and often late into the night. Sometimes it’s incredibly frustrating, especially when I have to abandon a painting that’s gone too long without being touched and I’ve lost my momentum (on the up side, I often end up with great, thick texture in my paintings and many hidden identities beneath the surface). And sometimes, when I’ve gone days without picking up a brush or pallet knife and I’m feeling discouraged and rusty, I remind myself that time is passing at lightning speed and I need to relish this incredible opportunity I’ve been given to be with my children as they discover the world and all its possibilities.
All too soon, I know the time will come when once again I have vast expanses of time to stand before my easel, wishing that someone would ask me to walk with them to the park. Until then, I am an artist, a painter, a creator … a father, a husband … a damn lucky guy with a lot of unfinished work in my studio.