Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Busy vs. Not

In The Mood, 2007, Oil on Panel, 24x24

I am slowly getting some paintings finished. I have been distracted by a number of things, in addition to just having some difficulty getting back into the swing of a regular painting schedule again. Now I officially have four galleries patiently waiting for new work and so I really do need to snap out of my funk. Anyway I am working on that, making a deliberate effort each day to accomplish more, not just in the studio but around the house as well.

I had an instructor in college that told us that as an art director, he always gave work to an artist who was really busy, rather than one who didn't have so much to do. He found that the busy ones always met the deadlines while the artists with an open schedule often did not finish on time.

While there are always exceptions of course, my experience has mostly held true to his theory. Not that I really miss deadlines, but when I don't have much to do, it is often difficult for me to meet them. When my schedule is crazy, the adrenaline of a hectic pace plus the necessity of organization help me to stay on track. In the slower times it is so much easier to veer off that track. Being aware of the ebb and flow helps, but still I have to make more of an effort to keep going, and I sure am struggling with that right now.

I have been working on a number of larger pieces, including the one above, that are 24x24 and up, so I could possibly blame my slowness on the size of the panels. Let's go with that version of events. Heh.


Rebecca Crowell said...

I can really relate to the "busy=more productive" idea...I'm under the gun myself right now with a show coming up and the need to supply several galleries also. A few days ago I went into high gear fueled by sheer adrenaline and have been amazed at all that has come together in a short time. (On the other hand, I tend to second guess myself and today have spent 2 hours going back into one I was sure was finished! But it really is better now.) For me productivity seems to require a certain decisiveness...about things being done or needing more work... that often eludes me when there is little pressure. On the other hand, I don't want to be cranking things out that are not up to my standards. I was going on about this to a friend and she said, "well, that's due to your work being in demand, so it's actually a very nice problem to have!" I have to agree, and pass that thought along to you.

By the way, I note that you have a really busy family life (nice snow sculpture!) and I know how diverting that can be. Somehow you make this all work so I think you must have an excellent ability to focus. I hope you find the groove that you need soon--I think you will!

Lisa said...

I can definitely relate also.

Unless I keep up the pace I can find myself just sitting back and watching the days go buy with no progress.

Where is that happy middle spot where you stay motivated but also have a bunch of free time?

Tracy said...

Thanks Rebecca, So nice to know that others go through such similar experiences. I was so incredibly busy last summer and fall and I totally got into the "crank them out" mode, which is actually when I do some of my best work.

With less pressure, I seem to have to wrestle with the paintings a bit more.

I know this will pass, it usually does. But I can't say I never wonder about what if it doesn't!

Lisa, I thought I'd find that lovely happy middle spot in mid January after a few weeks break from my hectic pace last year. But I let it go too long and that place and I never found each other. I still have completely disorganized closets and not enough paintings to go around!

Your post today made me want to cry, you're so efficient and organized! I used to be all that too and now I am just a lump...

leslyf said...

'the more you have to do, the more you can do' .... this is very true for a lot of us, and certainly for me.

I look at you and think "Once I could do all that, now look at me!". And it is because I just do not have the "must do" in my life any more. It certainly makes it hard to achieve a lot!

You will soon be dashing about at your usual cracking pace, keeping a dozen balls in the air at once, so don't worry about that! And why? ... because you MUST get it all done.

Philip said...

Beautiful painting.

Tracy said...

Thanks Philip. One of the pieces that ended up being a bit closer to the abstract side of things.