Monthly Retrospective: June 2024

After two years of 3x/weekly posts, I finally ran out of runway! I had enough posts saved up to see me through my move, but I didn’t count on my move-related exhaustion hitting me most in the month after we arrived. Not only have I not written posts this month, I also haven’t painted much. Not painting much has also led to me having less to say in posts.

The month started strong with daily paintings for the first 5 days. I declared, with hubris, that I was doing the 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge, a challenge involving daily paintings for the entire month. The “direct watercolor” (no sketch or underpainting) style suited me very well since it allowed me to avoid steps that I find tiresome, jump into the parts I find the most enjoyable, and give myself permission to do subjects that I find easy and fun (mostly skies).

Then I started my new job, which was unexpectedly full-time WFH. I don’t mind WFH – generally I prefer it – but I had expected to go into an office and was unprepared. I quickly cleared my painting stuff off the desk in the room where I’m staying, and put my work station there instead. Suddenly, I had no place to paint. This turned out to be a huge deal. In theory I could have moved my laptop and setup my painting stuff each afternoon, but in practice I did not. Having to move stuff put too much of a barrier in my way, especially as my workstation grew more complex and ergonomic. Besides, I do not want to work and paint in the same spot, spending my entire day sitting in the same chair!

I work most consistently when I have a dedicated painting setup that I can just leave out. This was how I worked at my old place. One of my biggest ADHD symptoms is difficulty with initiation (starting tasks), so I need to reduce startup friction as much as possible. This means having someplace where I can wander over and be painting within thirty seconds.

I do expect this to improve shortly. Although I did not want to accumulate much furniture at my temporary apartment, I decided to make an exception to make a little corner painting station with some stuff I ordered from Ikea. So, hopefully I will have a painting spot soon. Once I do, I’ll catch up on the latest Poppy Balser class that I missed, and hopefully capture some local skies that are staying light until 10pm these days.

In the meantime, I occasionally shake off the rust with a bit of light plein air outside.

The Paintings: #30×30 Direct Watercolor

Plein Air Sketches