Painting and Eye Strain

Painting and Eye Strain


Being that I chose the visual arts as a career, I have been lucky to have 20/20 vision, especially considering l had risks of being blind from complications when was born. Needless to say I’d have had to find another line of work.

This Spring in the thick of deadline season, however, I’ve been having issues with burning, scratchy, sore (and often bloodshot) eyes, sometimes with a headache thrown in, making it difficult to work.   Being in this field, it’s somewhat expected.  But I was finding that I was having to consistently stop several hours earlier than usual.  With eyedrops not providing much relief, I went in for a check to see what might be going wrong.  (And pretty much expecting serious problems.)

I mentioned the the long hours of painting (12-15+ hr days) I tend to go on with. Oddly enough, the technician in the showroom, a little surprised, asked if I do that voluntary. I replied “I’m an artist, it’s what I do”.

I’m not sure I satisfied the curiosity, but after an exam I was awarded a prescription for reading glasses for the eye strain and apparently all is fine other than hitting the limit of what my eyes want to do. (So now I’m sporting a nice chunky Clark Kent pair of spectacles in the studio.  The cat isn’t sure what to think.)

Do you Listen to Music?

Do you Listen to Music?

paint and coffee

Eduard L. mentioned that he was curious about inspiration.  (If) While doing the painting are you listening to a certain music or if you want to be in a silent area, etc?

That’s a good question.

I have always listened to something.  Earlier on, I liked Classical (non vocal) music or film scores.  Later it was a mix of that and Jazz (also non vocal).

Lately, as of the past few years, I have been either listening to nonfiction audio books or podcasts.  I like to learn new things while I’m occupied with the motor skills of brush strokes.  Because really, a million brush strokes on a board can get monotonous.

In the past, around five-ish years ago I guess, I would listen to language courses ( French, German, Dutch, Italian, Mandarin).  These, though nice, seemed to interfere with painting a bit, and unless I found myself painting a more simple piece or in the right mindset, I found that it didn’t help the flow at all and I tended to zone out the audio entirely to focus on the painting.  I do throw those in sometimes now, but not as often.

Aside from that, I go back to my original musical themes – classical piano, cello, maybe some smooth or swing jazz are weapons of choice.  ..and of course holiday jingles for Christmas (and July when you’re dreaming of a snowflake or two.. ;) ).

Have a question like this?  Send me an email with this form and it I will consider it for a future post.