Friday, October 29, 2010

#38 - "Small Package" and Big Procrastination

Small Package
6"x6" oil on linen panel

I am back and forth between the dogs and the beach cottages.  I'm enjoying both subjects.  I know I need  extra work to take to the Monpelier Hunt Races on November 6 for the Virginia Equine Artists Association booth.  I know, it is the equine artists' association.  But most horsey people also love their dogs, hence, small dog paintings!

But that really wasn't what I wanted to write about this morning.  Rather, procrastination has been on my mind lately.  I'll keep it short, don't worry!  I started the "100 Paintings in 100 Days" as a way of challenging myself to keep up with painting on a very regular basis.  I went along pretty well for a while, but lately have been pretty lax about it.  Sigh.  But, I decided to take my procrastination and look at it as part of the creative journey.  Below is a quote from the Robert Genn Twice-Weekly Letter :

"The game theorist and strategist Thomas C. Schelling suggested procrastination is not a personal weakness. It's more a function of the selves within ourselves who are actually at war with one another. For example, your long-term self says you're going to paint 100 paintings and get yourself a decent gallery. Next day your short-term self cuts in and has you alphabetizing everything in the spice cupboard or cleaning the lake. It's not you, it's your "divided self" that runs you off track and amok.

Interestingly, the divided self also gives powerful creative input. Putting things off may not be all that bad. Getting a second opinion is certainly part of our game. A work of art well sat on may turn out better than one completed to a hasty schedule. While experts identify university professors as the top procrastinators, artists cannot be far behind. "

So, I guess I will spend today having a conversation with myself about my challenge.  I'm not giving up, simply re-evaluating it.  I will keep on, perhaps not quite making The Date of when the 100 paintings should reach their end.  

I'd love hearing your comments on what you think about procrastination.  If you will, post your comments here on the blog, as opposed to email.  That way we can all share your opinions and comments.  Thanks!


Tina Steele Lindsey said...

Our Sophie sits with her leg out like that on occasion, it cracks me up, so this one particularly is endearing ;-)

Bobbi Heath said...

I love this dog portrait, and hope you had a good time at the races.

As to procrastination, I also read Robert Genn's piece and started thinking about it. I think the value of procrastination is two-fold: it is a way of prioritization, those tasks which are always last usually do not get done; and it is a way of optimizing the amount of time spent on a given task, if you wait until the last minute you can't dawdle and have to do it efficiently. How does that relate to daily painting? I'm not sure. I enjoy it most when I paint on my way to work in the morning, it makes me happy all day to have started outside enjoying nature in may favorite way. I think framing is what I procrastinate on, since I don't enjoy it a bit. And my first two comments definitely apply!