“How much time did this take?”

—Bunny Bowen

Often I am asked, “how long did it take to do this painting?”

The quick answer is, “a lifetime,” since I have spent many years learning a broad range of studio processes, including but neither beginning nor ending with 7 years of formal higher education.

But empirically, the answer would include the time which has elapsed since the first idea came, the research about the subject, perhaps travel to a specific place to acquire images, working with these images in pencil or watercolor and/or Photoshop, and planning the piece thoroughly before ever plugging in the wax pot or stretching fabric. The actual execution of the waxing and dyeing of up to 20 layers may take but a week or two, plus a week at the dry cleaner, plus a week to mount and frame.

To summarize, one painting may require years of gestation before it is born into the world as a framed, “finished” work.

That is the mindful answer.