The upside of deadlines

Deadlines are killers aren’t they? Well, at a desk job certainly. And perhaps most certainly when you are working for someone else. For an artist it can be different. Time pressure is the essence of plein air painting and sometimes the best results come out of that enforced ‘shorthand’. On the other hand, studio painting can allow luxurious (and challenging) hours of experimentation. Unless of course there is a deadline – a commission, an open studio, exhibition or art fair.

Not a good word really. If you don’t make it what really happens? As much as you want to be swallowed up, you don’t fall dead on the line.

I don’t usually have a glass of wine in my hand. This was a celebration with friends after an open studio session a couple of years ago. It certainly makes studio work look much more relaxed than the outdoor thing! But, that isn’t how we get things done. Give me a deadline. And you?


13 thoughts on “The upside of deadlines

  1. ‘dead lines’, yes something to ponder in perhaps another way. Without deadlines do lines written, (paint painted and so on) just become dead lines? But as with paint, resurrection is hopefully possible. Perhaps the necessary adrenalin surge has a bit to do with the power of deadlines.

    1. Very poetically put Helen. I think the adrenalin surge is important. But “dead” lines got me thinking. I have done a lot of work to bring some paintings up to the mark lately, so resurrection has to be possible!

    1. Ah Richard, not much evidence of wine when you are wielding your camera! But yes, it is easier to enjoy a wine than a deadline. Perhaps not the outcome however, depending…

  2. Philippa, I soo hear you! However, I must remark at how those who are not artists “think” that our lifestyle is so glam (like the very glamorous-looking YOU by the way in your open-studio pic!!) Others who do not create work think that all we do is go to parties and the making of artwork is just “a fun way to go.” They do not see the toiling inside our studios or outdoors (plein air) in your case, nor the messiness that artwork sometimes creates! While your deadlines topic is so true – I’m responding equally to the stereotypes that surround us as working artists. Yet another spot-on, and dynamic post!! Thank you! 🙂

    1. Good to hear your views Patricia. The public impression is very different from reality, although the publicity blurb is perhaps when we are most visible (and look our best)! I have recently seen a photo of a group of outdoor painters working in a paddock. They all looked very sensibly attired in long trousers, long sleeves, hats and solid shoes. Ready for sun, insects and whatever came their way. No longer the jaunty beret and scarf of the French stereotype or the black beatnik singlets of the 60s. Artists usually look like ordinary people I find! As far as the toil, if people don’t see it that it is all right with me. Perhaps it means they are just enjoying the product, purely. As an outdoor painter I am sometimes an ambassador for the toil because people see early or half-finished work or work that just hasn’t worked! If “relaxing” is mentioned, that is my cue to speak (emotional energy permitting).

  3. I question the concept and the word ‘deadlines’. When our lines are dead we have no power, no communication. Like Richard Guest I prefer a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy…

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