I haven’t painted for a couple of weeks. I have a doctor’s excuse…honest! I sliced my right ring fingertip – and had to get three stitches. I have had to keep it dry. It is logical that if it shouldn’t get water on it, oil paint and mineral spirits are not a good idea, either! Since the finger tip is quite sore I haven’t been too interested in doing other things in the studio, either. A slight bump of the finger is good for a few yowls from me. I got the stitches out a few days ago, but I’m supposed to keep the area dry for another week. The hand is a tough place to get an injury. It’s very easy to bump and split open again. Don’t want that!
It’s quite frustrating to be put on the bench, so to speak. It feels like I’m wasting precious time. I want to be painting. I need to be painting. I need to build panels for painting. I need to be preparing surfaces. The list goes on. Deadlines are looming. Self-imposed deadlines, but, deadlines nonetheless.
The upside to being on the bench (I always try to find a positive) is that it has given me some time to really think about things I want to be doing in my work. I like where I’ve been and where I am. But, we don’t stay in the same place forever. I feel like I’m going down a path and searching as I go. I’m searching for new things, new ideas, new ways to express them. It’s a creative journey. It’s exciting because it’s not static. You don’t “find” what you’re searching for and then the game is over. Each find is like opening a new door. And, each new door that is opened is an invitation to keep going down the path. It’s ongoing and unending. That’s why it’s so exciting. The possibilities are endless. And, that’s why it’s hard to be on the bench. It’s like being at a standstill or treading water or running in place. Boring.
I don’t like to be bored. I am rarely bored. I came across this great quote awhile back. I can’t remember who to attribute it to – and it may not be quite accurate, but…it said something like -” If you are bored, perhaps it’s because you are boring!” It sounded logical to me.
I’m ready to get my hands dirty again…
Sometimes it seems like life gets in the way and interferes with my ability to make art… when I want to.
It’s hard when I’m “inspired” to paint and all kinds of things interfere with my plans. It tends to make me angry and/or frustrated. I have ideas. I want to paint. I NEED to paint. But, I have to do this and I have to do that. And, the car needs to go in for some repair …and ends up taking all day …and into another day.
Why me? Aaaaaagh! I try to remain calm and just go about doing what I have to do. I know that getting angry and grumpy isn’t going to help. As a matter-of-fact, that usually makes everything worse. That makes the people around you angry and grumpy. It’s not their fault that everything isn’t going smoothly.
So – the Big Irritator this week is the car. It needs to go in to see what’s wrong – and get repaired.
I went “prepared” for a long wait. I took my crossword puzzle book and two pencils. I never work crosswords in ink. It’s guaranteed I’ll be doing some erasing. I forgot to mention that I like crossword puzzles that are HARD – ones I’ll most likely not be able to finish completely. I took along my Washington Post crossword puzzle book. I used to have the New York Times crossword puzzle book that I loved.
I also took along my copy of Julia Cameron‘s Walking In This World. I have read it through several times. I can’t remember how many times. But, I get something from it every time. When I finish it, I will either go back to The Artist’s Way and read that again, or I will re-read Walking in This World again. The books are full of reminders about what it is to be an artist, what one should be doing, the pitfalls to watch out for, and all those wonderful quotes.
So, while car problems got in the way of my plans to attend a holiday coffee and to spend a day painting, maybe it was meant to be. It provided some probably much-needed time to slow down, think, and think some more.
I could read a lot more than I do. I used to read a lot. But, it takes away from my painting time. I tend to think in terms of creating time and other things that interfere with creating time. Perhaps I need to expand my horizons and remember that all those other things fill the well. Where does one get the experiences to paint about if one isn’t “experiencing”?
So, maybe life doesn’t get in the way after all. Life is what it’s all about!
Is there really such a thing for an artist?
I often feel guilty about “wasting time”. I could/should be doing something worthwhile. I should be painting, cleaning the studio, building painting panels, learning how to use the computer better, learning how to use my camera, and on and on and on…
There’s ALWAYS something that could be done.
But, is doing “nothing” really a waste of time? Maybe I’m filling the well.
Actually, I’m not really doing NOTHING. I’m just not doing the things I listed. And, when I think about it, I’m really doing more than one thing. I’m MULTI-TASKING!
Hey, I like that! It’s true…I AM multi-tasking.
While I think I’m wasting time cruising around on the computer, I’m actually researching and fueling my creative thoughts. I might check out facebook, which is heavy on art friends. So, their links are often art related. I follow several favorite artists’ blogs. Those are full of thoughts, inspiration and information. I check out current events. That alone is fuel for my art. I say my art is about the obvious and absurd in life. The news is my best resource!
And, if I haven’t rationalized my way to it’s okay to “waste” time now and then, we truly do need some down time to re-fuel.