A friend of mine has just posted on Facebook that they "have their accountant's hat on" doing their books for the year and she feels like her head is about to explode!
Doing the books is probably my least favourite job each month, but at least it means that my accounts are up to date and my tax return will be sent jolly soon, rather than waiting 'til the last minute!
It's true. I'd rather be painting.
I think sometimes, when I proudly tell people I'm an artist, they have grand romantic schemes that artists sit around in cafes, drinking wine, and discussing philosophy, politics and art all day. Then suddenly the muse will strike and they will head back to the leaky garrett and create the next masterpiece ready for the salon to judge in the next season! Perhaps the modern English reality isn't that artists are sitting about in those cafes all day, but I'm still fairly convinced that lots of my friends think my life consists of getting up late, faffing about all day, taking the dog for a walk in the evening, seeing a beautiful sunset and heading back to the studio and magically painting it.
The reality simply isn't the same. And I'm not complaining one bit. My artistic life is wonderful and I thoroughly enjoy it but it's definitely hard work. There is a big difference between sauntering along a country lane considering the beauty of the sky whilst the dog sniffs around in the hedge, Compared to lugging your easel and painting equipment about, then setting up for a day of en plein air painting.
Concentration is required to really analyse the landscape around you. Sketch after sketch, considering light, colour and composition. The sketches produced on those en plein air days will help you in the studio the next day, the next week or even next year.
Most recently I've completed a commission for a couple of beautiful white park cattle (I'll blog about that in more detail next week). The starting point for the commission was visiting the farm to see the cows in all their glory and getting some reference photos and sketches.
I don't mind admitting that I came home covered in mud....only it wasn't just mud.
I'll leave that there I think.
A couple of weeks ago I was blogging about art fairs. Whilst they have, thus far, been very successful for me this year, they are hard graft. Loading, unloading, standing up for three days selling your wares, doesn't fit into the romantic/starving artist myth.
But hey, a girl's gotta eat and if I paint it, I have to sell it too.
The business of running a business is interesting, varied and exciting.
It definitely doesn't involve swanning about in a Parisienne cafe...more's the pity!
In fact, I'm just about to log in to a webinar about effective online marketing...it'll probably tell me to write to blog!