So much daily crap gets in the way when all you want to do is paint, right? Crap like: obligations, work, appointments, piles of laundry, pet/people care, blah, blah, blah. On top of the regular have-to crap, you’ve got to include distractions and interruptions and marketing, and networking, and art business (double crappy because creatives are generally not blessed with whatever side of the brain required for that kind of stuff.) “And maybe worst of all – peopling! Dayummmm!” Alaine adds to the list.
All the things that keep you from the studio are like big, fat, nasty frogs keeping you from finally dipping (or scooping) delicious oil paints to stroke on the canvas. “It’s best to ‘eat as many frogs’ at one time as you can and get them over with,” advises Stephanie. “That increases your painting time-block and your focus, which is super important when you’re a narrative painter telling a story. You want your story to be fluid, and not pieced together. Whether I’m working on shoe portraits or self-portraits, or any painting for that matter, interruptions are killer.” In actuality, those eight hours of work time you schedule usually boils down to three or four.
After years of painting collaboratively, Huye & DiBenedetto have figured out a few ways to make the most of their time in the studio. 1) Start by knowing your art is important and deserves undivided attention. 2) Eat as many frogs as you can, first. 3) Caffeinate, smoke up, crank up the music, then paint your ass off while you can!
Artists from New York to New Orleans, and around the globe, know what H-D Art means by, “The most exhilarating part of the process is when you get ‘in flow’, or ‘in the zone’. That’s when all those crappy frogs are gone, the world fades away, and your entire being transports to a place where everything disappears except the connection between you and your painting. You have no realization of time, whether it’s day or night, snowing, 110 degrees. You lose track of the world and your brain does things in a way only other creatives can understand. You accelerate!
Stephanie and Alaine find ways to celebrate these glorious times creatively—is there any other way? Nine frames are cut, stretcher bars built, attached with canvas, stretched, and finished with three coats of gesso. A painting is completed to your satisfaction. Your next series is ready and waiting. All this in one day. So, break out the Tequila Rose and have a shot--even if it’s only 11:00 in the morning!
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