Monday, November 23, 2009

Relief Plan

Moving my enamel work to my home studio has meant that I've had to revise an already complicated schedule. There's less space now. Instead of an open-plan 'factory', I'm using three rooms of my beachside house and my garden (for preparation work like sanding and undercoating).
I've also reconsidered how I handle the actual painting. Apart from a young assistant who will wash brushes and help me move large, heavy frames, I'll paint alone.
I prefer it this way. I get to stay at home by the sea as well as set – and maintain control – over a tight schedule to which I know I can adhere. One of the problems with having an assistant working on a painting unsupervised at a different location was that they didn't stick to my well-proven, strictly ordered process. It dissolved my planning and timings and made delveries unpredictable.
I'm spending today devising a new schedule. I break down the production of every enamel painting I'm working on day-by-day. Referring to detailed studied drawings, every colour is listed in order of application and number of coats. Some colours need two coats, others five. I paint large areas of colours – I call them 'blocks' – first, leaving 48 hours between each re-coat. When they're completely finished, I draw on and paint details.
As I paint, I record the time each task takes. This highlights any potential time blow-outs early on, so I can make adjustments. I don't need to do so often, not anymore. But I like to know, just in case.
As the schedule for each work is finalised, I feel less anxious. The amount of work doesn't phase me. I just need to know when each will be done, so I can give collectors an accurate delivery date – and make space for the rest of my life.


Indigene said...

I know how hard it is to relinquish control, it's my struggle, too! Maybe the assistant(s) can do more of the paper work/administration part, freeing up more time for you to work? Doesn't enamel take more time to dry being by the sea? Dear one, there's gotta be a better way to be kinder to your body. You'll need it for a long time, and trust me it does wear down! Peace.

James Schmeling said...

That's a marvelous photo, capturing work, with "by the sea" just a tiny corner.