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Where to start?

There are some many threads (wisps) blowing around and I find it hard to weave them into any sort of order. Some things though are making themselves clear … and these things are the result of more than a single event or stream of thought … things are coalescing … weaving themselves together without needing my conscious input or effort.

I need to revise and shift how I use my time. Over the last few weeks I have become bored of hearing myself saying that ‘I do not have time’ for things. Most significantly I do not have time for my own work (a situation which is aggravated by wanting to be at the studio in Uppsala – an hour’s drive away). Thinking about time, often while in the car, led me to consider the verbs that I employ around the word … I talk about …

  • Wanting time for my art
    Making time for my art
    Finding time for my art
    Not having time for my art

I was not particularly happy with any one of these verbs. They seemed to abstract, passive, weak, or ineffectual. Then I came to a verb that seems much more appealing – use

  • Using time for my art


This phrase shifts things for me. It makes me a much more active participant in relation to time. Time is no longer something that I do not possess (’wanting’), nor something that I have to somehow create (’making’), nor something out there waiting to be discovered (’finding’), nor something lacking (’not having’). Time is always already there, the vital thing is how it is used.
And I am, to a greater extent than I often acknowledge, in control of that.


All of which leads me to ask: how can I use time for my art?

My immediate response is to say by treating time as a valuable resource, something precious and finite. So I am going to try and be better at valuing my time. Not doing this is what enables me to stick with inappropriate habits and routines – things which use time without giving a result, or even worse which use time and lead to negative result.

My involvement in an artists’ group is one of the threads that is woven in to this thinking about time. I am disappointed and angry with how the group’s recent exhibition was handled. These strong reactions have consumed too much time. I have made the decision that I do not want to use my time with this group any more.


Being around other artists a little more has led to another thread that weaves into thinking about how I use my time. It has been very good for me to hear artists talking about the opportunities they have seen, the articles that they have read, the applications that they have made. I realise that I want to use my time to do similar things. The hours that I use for local arts association, which will certainly not collapse if I am not on the committee, could be put to better use on my own artistic practice. I would rather be making art than making a framework for other people’s art. I have made the decision that I will step down from the committee at the next AGM.

These two decisions are a good start!


If I don’t use time for my art how I can expect anyone else to?