How long did it take you to do that? Artists are nodding, laughing and sighing at that familiar question. An inquiry, and if I may speak for many of us artists, we might not be too fond of being asked. Giving a locked accurate account can be unnerving for various reasons as simple as we don't know, or questions passing through our minds such as are you trying to validate my talent or the price of my work by hours? As artists become more skilled the work goes faster. New techniques or products might change the pace. Another passing thought when asked time is, Am I getting lucky and getting a commission and its needed right away? Early on I kept a tally next to portraits as I worked on them to help me come up with pricing. Not including client time or photo shoots, just actual easel time. Some took an amazing 2 1/2 hours while others might go 24 hours even 72 hours. My prices do not reflect an hourly wage per piece. The labor in a work of art is what it is, while some pieces flow, others give natural birth. The mulling, the distance, the think time is inestimable. The above piece was started as it says on the back at Cafe Tu Tu Tangos 9/11/04. Unsettled with the piece of sky in 2005 I added an apple on a window sill. Now in July 2009 came the chickadee and branches. I feel a sense of whimsy coming it's way so when you see it again it might have undergone yet another development.
By the way the answer is, a lifetime, that's how long it takes to do this...and I love it!