Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Fine Line:Organizing or Procratinating

I have determined there exists a fine line between organizing and procrastinating.

 About two weeks ago I decided I needed to start using some creative skills every day.  I considered this for a little while and decided this goal might be a little too demanding.  I considered lowering the requirements of the goal some and just setting it for once a week but then that already was sounding like a cop out. I set the goal for every day for a month just one month to begin with.  I can extend it after that.

Maybe soon I will have sharpened my skills and advanced my artistic career in the mean time. 

The first day I picked up an old photo of one my ten grandchildren, picked up a good size watercolor paper and picked up my pencil.  For the next few days I worked on the sketch and then I began to put paint on the paper.  Now, this is to get me back into being creative and sharpening my skills so when I soon found that I had missed the proper drawing in the area of the face, I had overworked the paint in an attempt to get it right and I was not liking the results I cut the drawing into small squares and turned the paper over to use for experimentation and told the guilt and feeling of inadequacy to go away!

Go away!  Go away!!!

I told myself, I said be creative every day that does not mean I have to turn out a finished painting every day.

I redrew the painting I cut into pieces in the following days and got it painted.  It still needs tweaking but it is just shy of completion.  (Picture will follow in a later post.)

In my studio lays another abandoned incomplete painting, turned upside down to keep the dust from settling and dirtying the surface.  It had been there a year and a half. At the time I abandoned it I had been progressing well on it but  when school started I had to put it aside and my work became the master of my time. 

That is amazing to me as I admit this now in writing.  I call myself an artist but did not paint for a year and a half?  How can this be?  I must have really been in a slump! It did not feel like I was in a slump.  I was busy doing other things.  I had cleaned and organized and after all..... school demands a lot of my time.

I turned the painting over and began to carry the painting back and forth between school and home.  I found it very difficult some days to find time at school to work on the painting but it was inspiring my students. I have had several requests to paint something coastal now.  I usually found a little time at least during advisory and often during my 1st period or 2nd period classes because those students are less dependent on me.  I successfully completed the painting and delivered it to Caleb and Gaby as a gift to them to be the companion piece to their wedding gift from me.

The wedding gift painting.  Gaby at Playa del Carmen.
Caleb's painting to go with Gaby's painting.

Keep up the pace.  Don't stop now!  Find more to do.

I found another abandoned work in my portfolio at school.   I had abandoned it because the sizing in the paper was defective and the paints were not working as I wanted.  Using soft pastels over the old watercolor I began to work freely, applying color quickly and intensely, working more expressively than I am generally accustomed to working.  Working in pastels is a messy business.  Due to the dustiness of the medium  I wapped it in white paper at the end of the day to protect it and set the composition aside for another time when I don't have to keep my surface clean maybe at home on spring break.  Packed my portfolio, packed up my paints, chalks, and tools in preparation of the spring break week! 

At home during the week prior to spring break I took a full sheet of watercolor paper and soaked it in the bathtub, stretched it on newspaper-covered thin plywood and stapled the paper in preparation of a new drawing.  The next day at school while my students watched a character building video with David Robinson as the MC I took the opportunity to draw on the newly stretched watercolor paper.

Today, Saturday marks theofficial  beginning of Spring Break 2011 and my plans are to stay creative daily throughout the week (not mentioning stay on my diet, too.)!  Even if it is only for a half hour, I have to keep up the pace. 

This morning I began the day trying to set up my art space.  I took down the old baby bed I had gotten for the grandchildren but never use.  I hung all of Lee's shirts that had been in the baby bed.  I hauled the baby bed downstairs and then talked Lee into helping me carry the heavy drafting table to the upstairs room where I will have great light for painting.  I thought it was going to kill one of us but we got the heavy thing upstairs. I could elaborate on the grunting, groaning and such but I will spare you the misery.  Just take it from was not an easy job.  I am just thankful that when the thing has to come down those stairs I will not be the one to take it down because it is only going to leave that spot when I die!  Next I was going to suggest that Lee help me carry up the light box but when I looked out the window his truck was gone.  Funny, I never heard him leave!
The upstairs studio space with all that great light!

Before I got upstairs to work I put a load of clothes in to wash, started the dish washer, reorganized the downstairs studio space since I had removed a big piece of furniture, swept the floor, and ...began to realize I was procrastinating all in the name of organization.  How often I do that. 

A day's worth of work.  Unfinished still but a good start!
Soon I was back in my chair in front of the watercolor painting.
And today was a good day!

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