... is that they always have to take a back seat to paid work.
I know that I've said this before but my best work is in my head. The imagined pieces that I carry around in my head before I transfer them where others can see (and judge) them. When that imagined image is ready you can get to work planning in out, getting the material prepared and then get to work. Put down the basics and then work until it's refined and finished. Now, for this to work properly you need to have the time to do all of this in one block of time (or as near as possible). This keeps the idea fresh, keeps you motivated and you can work before that original idea in your head changes or gets too hazy.
Don't get me wrong I'm a huge fan of paid work. They only downside is that those personal projects which you do for love or just the hell of it but never for financial reward slide down the list of priorities. This is exactly what happened with this particular piece. We'd had a great time with friends again last summer in Woolacombe, lots of kids getting together, lots of sunshine on the beach and spending valuable time having fun. The focus of most of the day time activity was around the beach huts. One of my favourite images was of the lad sat on top of the hut eating an apple in between time with his mates in the sea. This was the image I wanted to paint to remind me of the warmth, smells and fun of last summer.
These are a selection of images showing the various stages this painting has taken during three months to get round to finishing. Now all I have to do is finish those other five canvases!