Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What next?

These days I'm thinking quite a bit about my art practice and how I organize my time. I continuously fight an underlying belief that I can only paint when I am in the mood. Because I am on a deadline, I make myself go to the studio on many days. I seem to be immersed in this pull between wanting to paint and having to paint. While I am satisfied with my efforts some days, other times I have to rework what I have already painted. Have you ever felt like you are swimming someday and not even knowing where the water is on others?

No amount of guilt could send me to the studio yesterday evening. I spent time on the computer instead and was rewarded by reading a great post by Kesha Bruce whose blog I follow. She is using a weekly goal setting strategy that is very organized and appeals to my professional accountability side (which is not being exercised much lately). Currently I spend way too much time reflecting with not action following the reflection. Kesha has it all tied together in here Sunday Summit and I am inspired to follow her example. Perhaps there's something in this post for you to consider in your practice.

10 comments:

Shayla said...

Ah! The joys of a deadline. I feel for you, and I think that resistance is normal. I'm under a deadline right now and starting to feel frazzled. This morning I'm taking a little "me" time to recharge.

PAMO said...

You speak of the ongoing struggle to create and produce. I think you are doing just fine- by the way. Sometimes it feels good to just air it anyway! Thanks for the link.

Kathy said...

Goals are a great motivator. I always have some. Both long and short-term. It keeps me on track and helps me advance my work. Kesha's blog is very well organized and a good read for anyone who needs help.

-Don said...

Personally, I HAVE to paint because I WANT to paint. And, I WANT to paint because it's fun... Even when I don't "feel like it" I paint for a few minutes every day. I've found that if I set aside 5 minutes to paint I'll usually take 10 - if I set aside 10, I'll usually take 20 - and so on. But, if I choose to take a day off I REFUSE to let guilt enter the picture.

I understand what you mean about some days being better than others with your painting. I'm sure we all deal with that - both in painting and in life. I encourage you to not let the less satisfying days get you down. You're good at what you do and you'll find your way.

Kesha's blog is a nice read. She is obviously finding her way via meticulous organization and discipline - criteria I can definitely relate to.

Good luck with your continued progress as your deadline approaches. Don't let the stress steal your joy. Remind yourself that you do it because it's fun...

-Don

Margaret Ryall said...

Thanks for all the encouragement. I painted five hours yesterday and today I will decide if it was in vein. It was an experimental piece that as usual is great or hopeless.
Don makes great sense when he presents his one thing leads to another comment. I just have to go downstairs for the initial ten minutes.

I agree that Kesha is super organized which is a big attraction to me in the rest of my life. I just can't seem to apply it to art but I am going to use here Sunday reflection and goal setting schedule to see how it works out.

Margaret Ryall said...

Oh yes, It is "in vain" but my work yesterday wasn't!

fheathermoore said...

I share your pain! I have those days of struggling with wanting to paint and having to paint. I too tend to gravitate towards the computer when I feel like that, and sometimes end up doing nothing, then feeling ridiculously guilty for it. This is quite a task just now as I'm trying to finish my art course (ending in 4 weeks) and preparing my portfolio for interview to art school (also in 4 weeks). Sometimes it can take the energy right out of you, no matter how much you actually want to paint. Aren't the highs and lows so much fun?!

beauty comma said...

like don says: a little each day is good. what annoys me is that i KNOW from experience that i'll be a happier person if i just sit down and do it (practice my instrument or make a collage), yet i still hesitate. i often end up doing the dishes instead; or another substitute "guilt removing activity".

Lynda Lehmann said...

When I'm confused about which way to turn, Margaret, I just focus on the idea of "keeping it going." It doesn't matter what project or task I choose, or what goal, as long as I act with love for the process. That's my attitude.

And God knows that if I didn't "settle" for that parameter, I'd be constantly conflicted, perhaps to the point of inaction.

Conflicted I still am, but at least I keep the process moving, while my priorities fight it out in my subconscious mind. I hope one day I'll have an epiphany and know what process, aspect, or body of work I want to focus on and stay with! And have the time and physical space to make it happen.

ArtPropelled said...

I like the idea of a weekly goal setting strategy and in fact bought myself a diary on Friday to begin keeping myself in check. My idea was to write down the 2 or 3 most important things I wish to achieve in my art practice each day. It's so easy to slip out of routine.