Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Twenty Minutes to Success

Time is such an important commodity that it's a terrible thing to waste.  How can you get back wasted time?  You don't.  That's it, done, finished, kaput.  Once it's gone, there's no running after it to stuff it back into the clock.  Maybe we don't want to call it "wasting time."  I call it daydreaming.  I think daydreaming is useful, and we can say it is time well spent.  I do alot of running around in my head, painting, redecorating, organizing, gardening.  I try to think things through to completion in my mind and decide how I like the outcome.   Much of that thinking seems like wasting time, but it's work!  Many times I can't see the end result.  Then it's wasted time.

Today I was impressed with myself because all the little things on the to-do list were done.  I've been working on it.  Another week and my new job begins.  All that thinking-things time must become useful-doing-and-accomplishing-tasks time.  Babies need attention and thinking isn't going to help when they need a diaper change!  So yes, I'm working on it.

Today I planned the route of all my stops and crossed each item off today's short list as I finished.  Last on the list was this entry:
"Paint for twenty minutes."
That's exactly what I did, too.  Why waste time thinking about it, just get it together and Do It!  The important part of it was that I had the idea and a plan.  The tools and subject were in my head (thinking again).

I read a blog called The Twenty Minute Challenge by artist Teri Casper.  Some of my blog/artist friends were posting there and I decided to take a look.  Talk about not wasting time!  This idea of spending only twenty minutes on a painting resonated with me.  After the times I spent at the beach this summer and painting a quick painting, I came to realize two things:

  1.   I very much enjoy painting from life rather than from a photo.  
  2.   I think I painted a better work in a short amount of time.

As I said I had a plan.  A task in The Artist's Way was to take a walk and collect different leaves representing a sense of abundance and fulfillment.  The theme at The Twenty Minute Challenge was Autumn.  I added two plus two together and got a painting out of it!  The rocks were out, I found the leaves I had pressed in the Morning Pages notebook, took out the trusty travel watercolor set and went at it.  And twenty, perfect minutes later I had painted a small still life and was happy about it too.

Dry Leaves (c)2010 DST  7x10 Watercolor


  1. Gorgeous!
    The immediacy of 20 minutes does stop you over thinking and I am so glad its working for you! xx

  2. Thank you Pat! The more I try 20 minutes, the better I like it!

  3. Very nice, Dora! Love the colors and you really did a lot with your 20 minutes!

  4. Thanks Sheryl, I'm getting pretty efficient with my 20 minutes!


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