I promised I’d begin my “new” blog by telling you about the event I participated in this November. (photos at the end)
About 2 months before, an art community that I subscribe to suddenly decided we should all do this together, set the date for mid-November, wham. Er, um, whut? I’m not ready for that. I don’t have the space to do that. I live out in the middle of nowhere and it will be dark and cold. I don’t have enough paintings to show. They’re not good enough. I don’t want strangers in my house! I also don’t want nosy neighbours from the next village in my house. There’s not enough time! I had other plans, I just want to finish my paint project.
But in the end I enlisted anyway. Just to see what would happen, to my stress levels, my self confidence, my work speed, my sense of privacy. What happens if you don’t wait until you’re perfect and ready? If chances arrive and you don’t take them, will they come back?
Last week I mentioned the absurdity of a health challenged person embarking on time consuming physical tasks such as gathering natural malerials, making paper, prepping and studying new branches of the art tree, and it surprised me that nobody mentioned “productive procrastination” aka Resistance. (dah-dah-DAAAAA)
Because really, it’s exactly what I’m doing. After all I am the champion of painting these colourful random backgrounds and then leaving them for years while deciding how to proceed because I never had a plan. Not having a plan and just slathering colour is a GREAT way to beat performance anxiety if you feel like you can’t get started, it will get you into the groove or at least the studio. Unfortunately, when you come back 2 weeks later after a migraine etc, you’re not really “feeling it” (pout) and it’s so much more fun to begin something else. (especially if you spent your downtime on Pinterest) Otoh you don’t want to keep erasing the same two pieces of board or canvas in all eternity, because you wholeheartedly intend to finish all those wips, obviously. (I do finish paintings actually, but a lot of them are testing ideas and methods and not really for publication. Not that I don’t on occasion publish them anyway…)
And then it’s so easy to pull the “as long as I show up and do something it counts, so how about clearing the table and gessoing ALL the things to make the workspace nice and ready?”-card. Or the “I should totally make it my thing to paint on my own handmade paper, to make it sooper special”-card. That is what I call productive procrastination, you use new and exciting endeavours as an excuse to put difficult projects on hold. Because you’re still working, right? And “each of my hobbies spark the others, right?”
I guess I’m especially disadvantaged here, because even if I lack ideas for halfdone images all the time, I have a supply for 2-3 lifetimes in general. It’s just that they veer off in every possible direction; forget about lining up ducks, my thoughts are gibbons.
I think I know what I lack, however: Stories. If I had a collection of those, I could always pair them up with a background. I’d like for something to happen in a painting, not just pretty colours arranged in a pleasing combination. I don’t want to try my hand at realism per se, but I’m getting bored with empty landscapes. A suggestion of figures, or an imprint of some sort is what I’m looking for. Does that make sense?
So how do I go about finding and collecting stories, and how would you keep track of them? Write them down? “Fat man walking tiny dog in November”. Or by making a lot of sketches of stuff (but even then, doesn’t the story come first?) Working from photos or real life doesn’t really light my fire unless I see something unusual (which can be turned into a story). I don’t go out much, so I don’t see a whole lot of unusual things.
Well, at least I’ve come a ways since I started talking about this years ago, I do actually paint a lot more than I did then. Having my own room in the loft has also helped enormously, and I have a bag of tricks to get me going, so all I really need is more uninterrupted time. And stories.
To begin with I’m taking note of all the recurring themes and keywords which overlap all of my interests to see which ones can be used as a common base, then make a list of activities in each hobby which fit those parameters and perhaps weed out the ones that don’t, for now. And in the way of stories I collect quirky titles and sentences to peruse when I need inspiration.
Breaking news: We had a rain storm Saturday evening and my water barrel is completely full. That means I can begin testing for my new plant pigment project. To be used with my handmade papers obviously. I’ll even test them on yarns.
I left you last Monday saying I wasn’t quite up to speed in the sleepiness department. Spent the afternoon trying peppy music (I usually prefer spending the day in silence) and preppy activities such as winding yarns for dyeing, and cutting up an old fiber board for taping papers onto while painting. Thank goodness for power tools, brrrrm, zoom, done.
Then I was extra careful not to vaccuum up any of my good pens with the saw dust, but proceeded to do just that of course, getting it stuck somewhere inside the machinery. That extrication process took longer than all the rest, but such happenings are just part of any normal day around here. Gets your pulse up. Læs videre “Well, did she make it then?”→
Last week I was utterly exhausted, beginning, funnily enough, on Monday morning as if by schedule. After waking up by myself all summer around 6 or sometimes earlier, I’m suddenly barely able to raise my lump of flesh at 7, left to its own devices it’s still lying there as if hung over around 8 where I simply have to roll it out of bed or die of shame (unless I’m gnawed on by hungry tigers first). Læs videre “So I need something for Monday”→
This being another dark, rainy sort of day, nourishing the approaching summer and my salad boxes, I’m inside pretending to be useful, rather than lounging with a book in the hammock. Wait, it’s been so cold we didn’t even put that out yet!
November 17th 2021 - I'll be changing my prices to DKKr. to cater to the local market and prevent typos on my part.
Please use a currency converter, since they do a better job than I at keeping up with market fluctuations. Luk