Painting takes persistence. the role of practice - day to day, week to week studio routines are seldom if ever considered in any assessment of an artist's work. We are comfortable with the historical judgements of past artists, yet not much discussion is apparent about their daily working procedures. It is as if they fully intended to make 'that' particular work of art in that particular way. Most of the time though art-making is not overly intentional. By this I mean not forced or pre-meditated, unless one is discussing amateurs - not a criticism of the admirable hobbyists by the way (who genuinely love their pursuit. I once gave a talk and slide show to an art society in Treorchy south Wales and 30 people turned up on wet Monday evening, all quite passionate about looking, discussing and making art). However we know that life is never a 'bed of roses'
or a beckoning 'sunset'. It was Matisse that said (paraphrased here) that too many painters only admired nature at sunset.
The studio routine is the engine of creative work. Making space in a painting is very demanding. Few do it with any kind of significance. Space that is not centrifugal (a real pitfall for the abstract artist for sure). I have too many bitter experiences of this kind of space. When I am lazy or simply not at the races, I'll lurch for a colour, any colour as long as it is in the general area of something acceptable to the painting and ham-fistedly wing a brush about in the vain hope that a painting will materialise , at some point. The frustrating thing though is when I do clean up the place, get it all in order, prepared, I feel stifled, self-conscious . I supposes that somewhere in between is a happy medium. Organised but lending itself to unpredictability, matter of fact. All this takes time though, lots of time and concentration. It is important to get the set up to suit your general intentions and create the right atmosphere for art to happen (a bit Zen-like with that don't focus on the target - focus on the arrow). I try now not to think about the paintings, more about the routines and the persistence required therein. To actually work with complete faith in colour and being as responsive to how to reveal it through the control of the surface. (To 'listen' to the colour - don't try too hard to 'make' a painting). Look at Morris Louis and how he did this to such great effect. Oh well back to it.