Yesterday I read my brother's post on 'The Art of Thinking' (his reaction to an interesting article on Sparrow Salvage) and it got me thinking about my expectations of a days work and what I consider wasted time: fooling with materials, testing paints, organizing beads, picking up the house (how many times in a day?) and the worst time thief of all - staring at my laptop, searching for inspiration in beautiful images, reading tutorials and perfume descriptions (of all things!). Why I love to read how a particular fragrance smells is odd - I guess they paint a fantastic reality, imagining opening a bottle and smelling a cedar forest, all sharp, dark and green. While I love doing this, it doesn't help me carve beads, or work on my shop, or tend the kids. So I feel guilty and try and make up the time by furiously carving away on something. More often than not, these projects born of guilt look shoddy and done by a lunatic, so of course I don't cast it! This bit of failure leads to its own set of insecurities all artists have about their work.
The last few weeks have seemed incredibly unproductive. I keep staring around me, sort of shocked at all I need to do, but can't find the time or energy to finish anything. There's a huge pile of wax that needs carved, but I took out my watercolors and made a little booklet called 'possibilities' to sketch ideas for a little book. My esty store needs updating, so instead I began designing paper doll creatures that look like the forest floor has come alive- little beings built from mushrooms, lichen, bulbs, roots, sticks and flowers. Azalea will enjoy putting the bits together, since I'm designing them so the parts can be interchanged to form new creatures. Again, this lovely little project doesn't include carving, so I consider it frivolous.
After reading Andrew's post, I understood the idea, that its necessary to let yourself idle, to not make anything.... in order to create something wonderful. Of course this is an over simplification of the idea, but I see the importance of slowing down and allowing ones mind to process the stimulation, to let the creativity percolate uninterrupted. The stubborn part of my mind argues that this is a ruse and that I need to stop fiddling around and just get to the drawing board or nothing will get made. The inner argument continues, one side validated and delighted to have an excuse to stare at dolls and read hundreds of perfume descriptions, the other side appalled and furious, insisting I get off my hind end and finish something! Ah well, I think I'll have a glass of wine, the workaholic self will settle down and let my hands make what they want to.... I don't think this discussion is over quite yet.