Guest Post: Scheduling and Staying Focused

Vancouver, Washington artist Katie Berggren in 2010. Used by permission of the artist.

This week’s post is by fellow Vancouver (Washington) artist Katie Berggren, best known for her paintings of intimate moments of motherhood.  I encourage you to follow the links at the end of this post to find out more about her poignant and whimsical work!

A recent ponderism: Schedules and Focus

I’m creating a list of Focus Items – items/tasks (such as specific research, communication, organization, product development, art techniques) that I can focus on for a series of days while the kids are at school (this will be the first time that both of my boys are away from me for school for more than just 8 hours a week).

I’m using this list as a way to stay on task while alone and get some goals accomplished vs. flying around like a multi-tasking freak-a-zoid.  I also have a schedule posted to my desk that reminds me that time is money – so don’t waste it!  It reminds me to get on the computer to respond to folks, then get back to creating/packing orders/learning/researching and developing as an artist (and of course, as a mother and a healthy human being as well).

I shared my scheduling inclination on Facebook not too long ago, and received some great ideas from some other mamas and artists that are clearly focused and organized as well. I shared my schedule on the Etsy Forum (with other artists & sellers) and was SHOCKED to discover how many shop owners responded that they do NOT have a schedule. They flow freely throughout the day, some admitting to not getting much done.

(Attempted to reach image owner at, website error. If this is your image, please contact me.)

For me, when the school year begins and gathers pace, I’m anticipating that my brain will start to meander, overwhelmed by all the Internet and world has to offer.  In this event, I can glance at my list and quickly get back on the trail to something I’ve always wanted to do.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not about accomplishing non-stop, or creating until creating is no longer fun. It is about pinpointing just what I desire, and attacking it while training my brain to stay focused at the same time.

What about you ~ do you keep a schedule for yourself?  Do you give yourself time allotments for social media and online research?  (Or maybe, you are not prone to getting sucked into the Internet.)   At the end of the day do you wonder where all of the time went and what good you did?

About Katie:  An internationally recognized and award-winning painter, Katie Berggren’s art career began in high school when she launched a pencil-portrait business. Graphic design and illustration took her to Central Washington University where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  After a brief career in graphic design, Katie was drawn to focus exclusively on painting.

Her days are spent with two young boys by her side, while she strives to balance simple, loving motherhood with the discipline and craft of painting.  Always interested in the dynamic relationships between those around her, she narrowed that focus to study the intimacies between mothers and their children.  The resulting acrylic portraits reflect intimate moments of motherhood through gentle, whimsical compositions and soothing tones.

"Whimsical Mother", Katie Berggren, 24"x24", acrylic on canvas. Copyright Katie M. Berggren 2010, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission of the artist.

You can learn more about Katie and her magical motherhood paintings on her website as well as her blog, “Painting Motherhood”.  You can also find her work and related products for sale on Etsy.


About Amy Buchheit

I am a Signature Member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters and an Ambassador for Artist Trust. I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Marylhurst University and have exhibited on regional, national and international levels since 2000. I am committed to connecting with the viewer through my work - stirring buried emotions to the surface for further inspection and introspection. The inspiration for my art comes from direct observations, research of subjects I am passionate about and personal experiences. For more information about my art, workshops and exhibitions, visit my website at My blog "Fantastic Voyage" can be found at, and I can be found on Facebook under Amy Buchheit Art and on Twitter as @AmyBuchheit.
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4 Responses to Guest Post: Scheduling and Staying Focused

  1. lovely, thanks so much Amy!
    Sincerely, Katie

  2. Patrick Ross says:

    First of all, what beautiful art, Katie! Also, thank you for sharing, I think any artist, parent or both can relate to the challenges of scheduling.

    I liked how you reflect on scheduling and finding time for social media while soliciting input via social media (your Facebook account, this blog)!

    FYI, a few hours after I met for the first time and interviewed Amy for a video series last year, I interviewed a writer in Portland, Erin Ergenbright. She was struggling at the time with scheduling issues, particularly of the Facebook/email variety, that she felt were inhibiting her creativity. I thought you might be interested in hearing a neighbor’s perspective:

  3. irisoniris says:

    Indeed, beautiful. I admire her work.

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