Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Staying Healthy While Creating Art

 "Objects of Healing #2" / Acrylic on Canvas

When  just starting my professional career several years ago, I had a discussion with an established artist which has stuck in my mind to this day.  When I asked him how he was able to spend long hours in his studio working on his beautiful pointillism works, he cited long distance swimming as the key to his stamina.  He said the best advice he would give any artist  is "stay healthy in order to continue creating art!" 

As I realize now more than ever that "the more creative I am, the more creative I become," I also realize that a high level of energy is necessary in order to continue producing at the rate I currently enjoy.  My goal is to be like Pablo Picasso, who died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 90, after painting until 4a.m.

Barring unforseen circumstances, if I am to realize that goal, I know what to do.  The trick is to do it consistently:  1)Eat "right", which for me includes fish, poultry, raw and cooked vegetables, whole grains, fruits and water. I eat these foods every single day, but not always in smaller portions.   2) Get enough sleep.  Six hours is the most  I can muster.  3) Exercise.  When I'm not painting or making art, I'm constantly moving about, but I don't have an exercise routine. 4) Take vitamins.  I take them, and they make me feel a lot better than I would without them.

If I were to give myself a grade in following through on all of the above, I would give myself a B-,  even though I feel healthy most of the time. I have not had a cold, an ache or a pain in eight years.  Still, it bothers me that I could do better, but don't.  

Why don't I do it consistently?  Because I'm busy painting, ya'll!!!  Yes, I know.  It's a real Catch22.  But I have promised myself to get better with this.

And I'm thinking that I will.