Trying to balance painting and writing has been difficult for many years. A little over three years ago I retired from my day job to care for my ailing father, and he passed on in July of 2011. After that I swore that I’d now have time for both my visual and written work. For a while I exhibited a lot, especially in the summer of 2012, but doing so cut into my writing time, because exhibitions require a lot of time spent dropping off work, picking it up and taking time to research galleries—as well as other work related to the process, and lots of credit goes to artist friends who do it. My local area has a vibrant art community and some wonderful and hardworking artists, many of whom I have enjoyed working with.
Last summer I did nothing but write, and had little time for painting, and I became such a recluse that I did very little socializing. That didn’t seem to work either, because I HAVE to write and paint, and I need to get out of the house every now and then.
Presently I’ve gotten the hang of embracing both arts. I write from early morning until late afternoon, and then I paint. Sometimes I write a thousand words, or so, and paint when I’m mulling over what happens next in my story, and I tend to paint on weekends more than write.
With that said, I am currently cutting back on exhibiting my paintings, but for several galleries that have no problem working with me and my eccentricities, and I still love offering cover art and interior illustrations for a few select publications, and doing art/poetry collaborations. I also plan to sell some of my work online. With this balancing act I can now work from home without interruption and still have time for immediate family and friends.
(Examples of cover paintings and illustrations I’ve done over the years)