I was "on duty" at Monymusk Arts Centre the other day. There was quite a lot going on - exhibitions were being changed over, artists came and went with their work. I managed to fit in some work of my own. It still doesn't really feel like work. I sketched what was to hand, much as many people do. Crayons from the tub provided for visiting small people, a blue pen from my handbag, my reading glasses. All good practice and good to switch off and focus completely on the task in hand.
Of course I should have been painting some landscapes (my plan for this summer) and finishing a garden commission which for some reason keeps slipping off my "to do" list. I recall an artist friend saying she was really struggling with a commission (a portrait) and simply told her client that she was very sorry, but she could not do it after all. She said that almost immediately, she felt freer and lighter and was able to paint the portrait in a loose, free style that would not come to her while she struggled with the "c" word. The brain is an amazing thing, but it can also be a bit of a handicap at times. With artistic endeavours, it seems to me that I am best not to "try too hard". I have to switch off most of my brain and "just do it". I've played a little golf in the past and that maxim has served me well - don't try too hard, relax and just do it. Without caring about the result. That's the plan for now. I'll keep you posted about how it pans out!
Putting off the evil hour
Running away from chores
Owing much to others
Costing us much more.
Running rings around ourselves
And setting pointless tasks
Stand and watch the world go by
Till someone comes and asks…
Is it you that does this job?
Not I, you sadly say,
Another does these things
That I once did, one day
I only think about it now
Or talk about it, even
Not doing things is not the way
To get oneself to heaven.
They say if you want something done, ask a busy person. I say, if I've got lots of things to do, why don't I just go off and do something completely different? That always reminds me of the Monty Python line "And now for something completely different!", but that's a topic for another day.
I am supposed to be getting organised for North East Open Studios - my little cabin opens in 10 days or so, with an exhibition of my watercolour paintings and my daughter's photographs. I have to clear out all my boxes of gubbins, sorry, art materials, give the place a good brush/hoover/clean, and hang said exhibition to its best advantage. Plenty time yet, I think to myself. I have thought this to myself many times in the past, and always end up in a last minute rush. I'm not quite sure why I am sharing this, or what the point was meant to be. Ah yes, procrastinating. But it's not really procrastinating if you do something creative, or worthwhile, or constructive, is it? Does that still count as procrastinating? Maybe.
In my wisdom/procrastinating mode, I decided now was exactly the right time to put together a little collection of short stories. I've been meaning to do this for quite a while - well, since I've had enough stories written that I am happy to share with the world. So I just did it. Yesterday and the day before. Decided which stories I'd include, chose two images (my own photos) for front and back covers, edited the stories, arranged them in what I thought was a good order, made a list of contents and pressed the publish button. Done. Boy does that feel good.