"How long did it take you to paint that?" I think any artist who has been painting for a while has to have heard that question a million times. I always find it a little hard to answer, because the question seems to imply a kind of value judgement, such as "paintings that take longer are worth more" (which isn't always the case.) But if I were to answer the question in regards to the painting below, I'd have to say that it's taken about 3 months. More aptly put, 1 trimester.
Yes, that's right...Back in early November we received some surprising and life-changing news. Turns out we're expecting our first born, due in July of 2010! Having been married for 15 years with no expectations of having children, let's just say we were happily surprised!
What it has meant for me professionally (at least in the short run) is that my painting came to a screeching halt for the rest of the last quarter and the early part of 2010. Not only did I feel oil painting (with solvents) to be not good for the developing fetus, I was so constantly nauseated and exhausted that I had no problem staying out of the studio altogether. Heck, even sitting at the computer for any amount of time gave me some serious vertigo, so I had no choice but to unplug for much of last quarter as well.
What it will mean for me in the future is a little unknown. I'll still be an artist, but this one's certainly a game-changer, at least in terms of the way I'll play it. For sure there will be more periods of absenteeism once the baby makes her big debut. For now, I'm in my 2nd trimester and have both better stamina and the blessing of my obstetrician to get back to work, so I am finally tip-toeing back into the studio to have a go at painting again. Here's my first attempt, after a "pregnant pause"; a painting of lovely Lake Como:
"Gilded Afternoon, Lake Como" Oil on linen, 24"x20"
So...since it took me all these months to finish, do you think I can charge more? Nah....I'll just price it as per usual. Mama needs a new nursery! ;-)