Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The artist's problems

Recurring problems for many artists are restlessness and procrastination. As my departure date gets closer the more restless I become. I battle to focus on one thing at a time – inefficient multitasking has become a way of life. Interrupted tasks have become the norm.
I have packed up my studio and I think this is the crux of the problem – I am suffering “oil paint” withdrawal symptoms. Last week I put the finishing touches to the last two commission paintings and the work was delivered.
Now I need to decide just what I need to have with me for the next couple of months. Separating the essential from the “good to have” is almost impossible. I delay deciding. The pile of goods to take with me on the plane grows as does the need to send a box on its own. Such a dilemma…..
Then there is the question of what to do for these last two and a half weeks. Oops – actually it’s only two weeks before I leave for Brisbane. I keep promising myself that I will draw but this is where the eternal procrastination steps in and I find something else to do instead.
All too often as artists we keep looking for something important to paint or draw. Instead we need to heed the advice of Michael Nobbs. His blog Sustainably Creative offers encouragement in just getting down to doing things and doing small steps at a time.
Earlier this year Michael’s free e-book Start to draw your life  was one of the motivations I had to do some drawing – every day. The important act was the drawing, not necessarily what one was drawing. Then somehow life started to get in the way, (not to mention the fact that I had to pack up my house) and like many resolutions I stopped the daily drawing.
Some of the drawings from this period show rather a shaky start – but it’s fun to draw exactly what you see next to you as you veg on the couch watching TV.

No great intellectual concept – just simple drawings for the sake of drawing.
You should try it sometime – I plan to do that right away.