Saturday, May 16, 2009

Procrastination - thou art my nemesis!

Diptych 36x36 + 12x36 panels "Hanging Loose" 2009

Finishing a deadline always leaves me with the hollow question of what to do next. I am the type of person who likes fact I thrive on them! Without a "due-date" I flounder a bit. I wander from one thing to the next....sketching in the sketchbook....making little mini paintings to pin to my mini-painting assemblage...bouncing from one unfinished painting to the next. In fact I've tried to trick myself into a sort of fake-forced deadline on paintings, but I know the deal - so it doesn't work. Why do I procrastinate so? And is it- in fact, procrastination-or just part of the process? I finished the above commissioned piece just this morning. It likely would have been finished much sooner had the buyer given me a date that she needed it by. Even though I knew I wouldn't get paid until it was finished - it wasn't enough to motivate me like a : "I need to hang this before my company comes to visit on such-and-such-a-date". THAT would have kicked me into gear. What is up with that? It's certainly not because I don't need the sale! In fact, I am really trying to come up with some creative ways to boost business in these current economic times. But, alas, I dragged my feet on completing it ...and the really silly part is that the large painting was already finished and "sold"...all I had to do was make the small panel to complete the transaction. I feel like I am constantly in a self-sabotaging frame of mind - putting off things need to be done. Often times, I don't enter competitions because I've waited until the deadline and then -just can't get it together. I wonder sometimes if I'm the only one who does this? - and most importantly I wonder: WHY do I do this??? I have this quote hanging in my studio....maybe I should take it down: "Not all who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien


A.K.Ard said...

I completely sympathize! I joined the challenge for "Every Day in May" hoping to get inspired to make a daily effort to paint and post to my blog. And while I have completed 10 paintings (in 16 days)I have yet to post them - which is just as important to the challenge I joined.

I've also missed several competitions for the same reason you mentioned. I even joined a non-profit arts organization 2 years ago with the specific purpose of entering their monthly shows. Instead I have volunteered several hours helping others promote their art.

I actually said on Twitter that I was thinking of posting this quote somewhere that I see it first thing in the AM: "Do it big or stay in bed." ~ Larry Kelley. Similar to the effect of the quote you mention, I am wondering if this would not just result in me turning over and pulling the covers over my head. (lol!)

bj said...

Sometimes the smell of paint, fiddling with my brushes, looking through an art magazine/book, repositioning my easel, etc will kick me into gear to start another project. Sometimes nothing helps. I think it's just part of the process. Personally I can't force it. If I do, the results usually get wiped off the canvas or laid aside in the "unfinished/fix it" stack.