Monday, March 29, 2010

Spectacularly Unproductive

Frames #1001, 2010, Oil on Birch Panel, 12x16

Well. Ahem. Yes, it has been three weeks since I last posted. Every single day, I thought about posting, but didn't. Couldn't? Not sure which anymore. I can't say I have been too busy either, as I have been spectacularly unproductive lately. And while I don't want to end this blog, it does periodically occur to me that maybe I will.

But today is Monday, a good day to turn over a new leaf and I am going to try again and get my mojo back. For the blog, for my work, for my life in general. Sounds dramatic, eh??? Well, like I said; spectacularly unproductive lately. Not only am I not working in the studio enough, I am not even doing the projects around the house that I usually complain about not having enough time for, even though I have had all the time in the world lately.

So I have decided to start with to-do lists. Public to-do lists. I don't normally keep a formal to do list, but well, desperate times here. I do NOT like being spectacularly unproductive. The plan is to post a to-do list for each week, on Mondays and update my progress each day. I am hoping that this will get me posting here again and also help me get some stuff done.

Well, here we go. My list of things to-do this week (in addition to regular stuff like driving kids, making dinner, scooping cat litter and feeding chickens and um, keeping up with Facebook):


Finish the 10 paintings that are in progress, starting with the six that have been sitting here, halfway finished for at least three weeks.......

Finish prepping panels.

Do some drawing for at least a half day.

Start at least one new 'People You Know' painting.

Do seven more Black Paintings on the 6x9 inch panels that have been sitting here for a whole MONTH.

Load new paintings on to my sales blog, and do some other things, like ordering supplies, etc.


CLEAN the house.

Hem the new curtains for my daughter's room, the curtains that are still sitting in the shopping bag on the dining room table, exactly where I set them down when I got home from buying them 3 WEEKS AGO.

Make a few appointments that I have been lazy about making. Dentist, vet, etc.

Have lunch with a friend. I have been spectacularly antisocial lately as well.

Get out in the garden and plant spinach and lettuce seeds in the cold frame.

This seems like a lot to me, especially since I am pretty much starting at zero. Heh. But it's nowhere close to what I used to accomplish in a week and it is stuff that I really do need to get done, so this is my list and I am sticking to it.

PS. I do realize that I would be spectacularly productive if I had anything whatsoever on the exhibition schedule for the upcoming year, but that is a post for another day;)


Anonymous said...

Okay, Tracey...I think that's way too ambitious! If you get half that done, then my hat's off to you.

I think you may be in a slow down because you just came back from a trip away from home and may have some withdrawal from that. Also a change of season is underway and can throw you off sometimes.

Oh! And, don't forget pre-menopause. Hahahaha...

Please don't abandon us (your blog) - we need your spontaneity and candidness. We'd miss you too
much. Truly.


SamArtDog said...

Yeah. Please do NOT bail on your blog. Besides, it's not just your blog, so stopping it won't fix everything else.

Here's a proposal:
I also have to make a dentist's appointment. I've put it off because it's an appointment to have a tooth pulled. No ifs ands or buts. Your post reminded me (gee, thanks). Anyway, here I go... I'm making the call. You do the same... today. Get the dentist out of the way; the rest is gravy.

Janelle Goodwin said...

It's okay to be unproductive sometimes. I think our bodies and brains need to recharge, so it's actually good for us. No guilt, please. You're an amazing artist and are generally very prolific. I admire your tenacity and wonderful sense of humor.

Diane Hoeptner said...

It's a very ambitious list, Tracy! Best of luck to you!

deborah from collagewhirl said...

I've been feeling exactly the same way lately and blaming it on the transition from winter to spring, and allergies too while I'm at it, why not? It also looks to me that you are productive even when you are unproductive Tracy!

Elaine Mari said...

Hey, love that painting and enjoy your blog, please keep posting. As far as I can see your to do list is way too much, that would stop me in my tracks. My motto is "reduce your expectations to where they can be met". Just my two 'sense' worth. I also agree with all the other points made here. I've been in a similar place at times and feel for ya. This too will pass (just a little cliche to round things off).

Tracy Helgeson said...

Sherrill, most of these things only take a half day at the most, and some things, like the panel prepping are multi-task items, a few minutes of work then mostly drying time. And yes, this all certainly started with adjusting to being back home after the residency.

And omg, don't even scare me with the pre-menopause bit, I am WAY too young for that, aren't I???????

SamArtDog, I called my dentist, although unlike YOU, I was not putting off going in;) I just wanted to switch hygenists; bleeding gums for a week after a cleaning is not my thing! Got all my calls done this morning at least.

Thanks Janelle, you are very kind. I don't think it's a bad idea at all to recharge, it's just that I feel uncomfortable about it going on too long and then affecting other things, you know like the housework and hemming curtains;)

Thanks, Diane!

And thanks Deborah, sorry about your allergies. That is probably the one thing I haven't been able to blame my unproductiveness on;) And glad I at least look like I do stuff!

And thanks Elaine, but really this list is very manageable. Like I said above, a lot of it is multi-tasking and time management. And actually one of the reasons that I have been so unproductive is because I was SO overwhelmed with how much there is to do on my whole entire to-do list, it just got easier to do none of it! So I am breaking in down into a weekly thing, which will hopefully be a good jump start for me to get back to my normal.

And thanks everyone, for the encouragement about continuing the blog. Sometimes I just think that I have told all my good stories, ya know? And of course FB has given me a quicker, snappier outlet for my silliness. But after seriously considering ending the blog over the last few weeks, I decided that I really didn't want to do that, so here I still am;)

Kaylyn Munro said...

Agree with others on the 'its going around' thing. I think we have had a very long winter. Here in the heartland it is miraculously warm and sunny today, but we have gone weeks and even months this winter with very little sun. Maybe its a moon phase thing?!? I think every blog I've looked at lately has some sense of 'I'm not living up to my own goals or expectations, woe oh woe!!"

A list is a good thing. Crossing things off is a good thing. I almost always find that a project I've been dreading is actually a much shorter and easier task than my silly head has made it seem! not bag the blog. I love your work and enjoy seeing new posts. You are under no obligation to post any more often than you do!!

Carol said...

Hey Tracy... glad to see your blog post and that you are continuing! (for now... I understand that sometimes things must change)...

BUT... since I just discovered you a couple of months ago (thru link from Tina Mammoser)... I hope you continue for a while...

Maybe I need to go back through your archives as if you just started blogging...

What I appreciate are your posts on the act of painting... why you choose to do underpainting the way you do... your discussion on how you make decisions in painting etc...

I also enjoy your ruminations on life in general... and your "stories" too

And hey... ONLY 3 wks on the dining room table?! I have you beat by a long shot... ; )

I am tryibg to organize my live into more "doingness" instead of "thinkingness" or "surfingness"...

Trying to figure out how to implement David Allen's Getting Things Done appoach into my life...

Should not be that difficult, but somehow for moi procrastination is my mode of operation and always has been.

Okay enough about me...

However, your post did inspire me to call my dentist and leave a message for an appt after 2yrs (!) AND I'm truly going to take my curtains down this week and hire someone to hem them...

ps... I have a fledgling blog but am trying to sort out using a Facebook fan page instead... have you thought about that? it seems perhaps the posts would not tend to be a lengthy on the FFP?

Lisa Call said...

Good luck with your productivity.

I'm right there with you being unproductive and even with public todo lists (on twitter) and an accountability partner I'm still floundering.

Maybe it's the season...

Erin said...

This all sounds suspiciously like my life right now. Ugh. Good luck with your fresh start. Rain right now has me thinking I'll do my fresh start this weekend:)

Kim Hambric said...

Mondays are wonderful times to feel that you can take on the world. But . . . if Monday is a bust, then often one can feel that the rest of the week is going to be s&*t.

I feel much the same way lately. My blog has felt so tepid. I'm so apathetic about it. My house is a mess. I forget to scoop the cat litter until the cat reminds me. My yard is being eaten by weeks (already?!?). My child has outgrown her clothes and I have yet to do much about that. Her schoolmates are constantly telling her that her bum is showing.

All I really want to do is read.

Perhaps it is post-residency letdown. You had such a productive time.

I'm going to blame it on the time of year. Or perhaps it is a low-grade virus attacking artists.

Sherri Woodard Coffey said...

I always find that I have an unproductive period after a period of intense creative productivity--and you were VERY productive in Vermont. It'll come back. But lists are always good. I love 'em!

patty a. said...

I have missed seeing new posts and what you have been up to. I think the public to do list is a double edge sword. I also try to do a short public to do list for my weekends, but sometimes I just don't feel like doing anything on that list! Then my brain goes crazy thinking about how I won't have anything to post. I say I am going to get done what I feel like and not to let myself be pressured even by my own list. I hope you feel good about what you accomplish on your own terms. If I get one thing started or finished at least I am making progress!

Tracy Helgeson said...

Kaylyn, yes, seems like it is definitely going around, waiting for the season to just hurry up and change already;) And definitely is is empowering to be able to check things off a list. I need to remember that for the next time!

Carol, thanks for the comment, and you should definitely go back and read through the archives, FOUR years of posts, and most are way more entertaining than it has been around here lately;) And oh, btw, I do have a FB fan page, the link is on the blog home page, I do quite a bit of art and studio talk there. I decided not to have it replace this blog, but have considered it.

Lisa, sorry you are also in the unproductive mode, but am secretly really glad to hear it;) I am in awe of how much you do and it's nice to know you are mortal, like me.

Erin, putting off a fresh start due to weather is entirely acceptable;)

Kim, all good theories you have! Good luck getting it together and at least take your daughter shopping, bums shouldn't show, not at her age anyway;)

Sherri, yeah, I think that is definitely how this all started! Unfortunately, it has spun wildly out of control now and I have been forced to make public to do lists;)

Patty, I am with you on that, although I am very good (too good?) at letting myself off the hook for things I should be doing. I just got into this slump lately and so am hoping this will help me get going again. I don't even need to get all super achiever again, just want to tread water at least;)