50+ Hours A Week & Two Questions

                                                                     House Finch

                                                                   House Finch

          I am a professional Fine Artist. I make my living from creating art. Do I know what I'm doing? After 50 years I have some idea, at least I can eat, pay my property taxes and buy more paints. Anyway, I'm still at it, still painting and still learning. My parents gave me great advice - listen to people. Jordan and Adrienne, my two advisors, convinced me that I have collected enough from listening to begin blogging. Yet still I question myself as to who am I to be writing a blog, anything I write comes from the people I have listened to or read their ideas in books. 
         Being an artist used to mean that I didn't have a job. I was the family member who drove across town to kill six ants in my elderly aunt's kitchen. I was the one who cleaned the back end of mom's elderly friend's German Shepard. One or two hours here and there add up and soon I was spending less time doing what I needed to do, which is creating art. I had to learn to say no and give myself a job. A forty hour a week job, with flexible hours to still be able to help kill ants and make Rosie angry messing around under her tail.  But at the end of the week, I had to have put in forty hours at my job as an artist. Some weekends I added an additional eight hours. I found to really make it I needed to put in fifty hours or more a week. 
          I got a question today about going back into a painting. I cannot afford to waste a canvas or an effort so I do go back into an unsuccessful painting. Some paintings that have made the rounds of my galleries I will study and, if need be, I will remove the varnish and make adjustments to it. 
          Second question: How to keep from getting bored while painting. This one threw me and took some thinking about getting bored while painting. I have never gotten bored so I had to think why I was still excited about painting after 50+ years. I think it is because I challenge myself with every painting, even when I've done the same subject a hundred times. Can I improve the color or the brushwork? do it under a different light? My friend Ron and I did some night scenes of the desert around Taos which was challenging. I returned to that idea with a night scene of where I went camping as a boy scout. That led me to do a night scene of a farm I'd done several paintings of. Doing the same subject over and over again and again with the same approach is going to lead to a boring painting and people will see your boredom in the piece.