There’s this myth that to be a good painter we need to be painting 12 hour days 7 days a week. So when we take time to do other things guilt raises its ugly head. But, hey, we’re artists. We need time to gather resources, let life soak in, think about things, see art in museums and galleries, commiserate with other artists, take long walks and meditate. This last month I have been cleaning out my studio. I filled a trash dumpster yesterday with over 20 large size garbage bags filled with all types of junk I could have sworn I would include in a collage, painting or some art project. Holding on to lots of STUFF just feels claustrophobic, and is not helpful to creativity. I decided that I wanted to really focus on painting. So everything in my studio that doesn’t fit will go. I donated 20 years of fabric collecting to an arts organization, and boxes of craft items like glitter, clay, fringe and buttons to a children’s art group. I feel lighter. I feel like I can focus. I feel GREAT – except for a few moments each day when I realize its been awhile I haven’t painted. I cleared an area around my painting spot today and will be able to get back into painting within a few days. All this clearing around me will definitely make a difference in my work. I will start with a fresh, new, LARGE canvas and see what happens – unplanned with no expectations.