Daily Art Versus Jet Lag

Wow jet lag is terrible. Currently it is the next day after I painted this still life and I have only had about 3 hours of sleep and this is after staying up all day yesterday after only 5 hours of sleep. I was so tired when I went to bed that I was sure that I would sleep for 8 hours straight, but as I write this severely sleep deprived I realize that the battle of daily art versus jet lag will continue for at least a day more.

Daily Art Versus Jet Lag: Round 1

At about 5pm I’m barely keeping my eyes open and I’m staring at my computer screen like a zombie. I wanted a nap extremely bad. But, I knew I needed to stay up to try and guarantee that I sleep through the night. So needless to say at this point I wanted sleep much more than I wanted to paint or draw. I couldn’t even think about composition or subject matter so I just decided a medium, Gouache, and a subject of what was right next to me.

daily art versus jet lag still life Yes it’s boring, I know. But I didn’t really care, the ellipses will be a bit challenging to get the perspective correct and this would get me into an artistic mode of thinking. But even then I was too tired to take on the full perspective of the coffee cup plus the saucer so I chopped off the top and focused on the shadows cast.

daily art versus jet leg still life in germany by chris beaven Yep, another bad piece of artwork at this point. I’m about 30 minutes into the painting a this point and I’m so tired I want to quit. Plus I haven’t had dinner yet so I decided to stop and go get dinner. I wasn’t planning on continuing with the painting I was just going to chalk this win up to the jet lag and claim my minimum done.

chris-beaven-gouache-daily-art-versus-jet-lag-in-germany-setup2-090915So, I dragged my zombie self out of the room and walked to a train station close to where we are staying to try and find a quick dinner. The walk was a bit refreshing, it got the blood flowing. But then I ordered some food and couldn’t pay for it with a credit cart and it became an upsetting situation. This really woke me up. Plus I ended up walking about 2 miles before I found a place to get dinner.

Daily Art Versus Jet Lag: Round 2

daily art versus jet lag round 2 by chris beavenBy the time I arrived back at the hotel room I was energized enough to start daily art versus jet lag round 2. And I ended up finishing this painting.

Is it a great painting? No, it’s not. But, this is not the point for this session.  Today, and maybe the next few days are all about keeping the ball rolling and in this case the ball is daily art. I remember years ago finding it tremendously difficult to even begin some small piece of artwork and every day that I didn’t do something was defeating to say the least. It wasn’t until I realized that 90% of being a great artist is doing the work and that it didn’t matter how “good” it was every single day. What really matters is that I do SOMETHING, anything to keep my mind on it, to keep the apathy at bay, or the feeling of not wanting to start, or the fear of failing. Ha! I laugh because I have hundreds of failed drawings and paintings, and I have learned something from each of them. So in this case failure is still a step forward.

I’m going to declare that completing a bad painting in the most negative of situations is still a knock out blow in the battle of daily art versus jet lag. And in this instance I have come out victorious.
daily art versus jet lag still lifeI think back and know that this isn’t the worst day I have had struggling to do daily art. On this night I was 30,000 feet above the earth cramped in a tiny plane seat, feeling the effects of a couple sleeping pills and on the cusp of sleep when I remembered. HOLY CRAP I HAVEN’T DRAWN TODAY!. That day was still the worst so far, but I got it done, and I proudly look back at the terrible drawing and the dedication that outshines it.

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