After the third day in a row of pecking away at the oxpecker I awoke with a very stiff wrist. By the end of that evening swelling had reached up to the top of my arm, and the pain was rather intense. I went to the emergency room for a shot to decrease that swelling! Eventually a diagnosis of tendinitis was offered, and I was told to stop painting altogether; Of course, that was not going to happen. Since the true culprit had been pointed out as the repetitive action I decided that variation needed to become a hotter spice in my life. I now end each evening with therapeutic stretching exercises. Fitting other types of art and craft activities into my week, rather than only painting or drawing, seems to have been the biggest help of all though. I rarely have an issue with my wrist these days.
Certainly most any method to vary your own activity is probably good, whatever the motivation, but don't overlook an old band instrument hiding in a closet or attic if you have one. Wait until you're alone, dust it off, and make some noise! You don't have to be good, just have fun. Overall I think that playing with a musical instrument offers the best benefits for a visual artist as an alternative activity because it involves so many of the same fine muscle groups but uses them differently. Plus creativity could be opened, and what artist doesn't want to risk that?
So, that's one of the ways I get my kicks when I'm not painting. What sort of things do you do when you're not doing your usual thing?
*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use.