This week has been a trying time for painting inspiration. I feel like I’m just going through the motions. I am working on five or six paintings simultaneously since one at a time usually puts me into a creative ditch. I get stuck, or worse, I start thinking I have just created the best painting of my life in a mere two hours only to come back the next morning having to wipe it with a turpentine rag and set it on fire. Falling in love with your brand new quickie creation is to painting what going home with the girl from the bar after nickel beer night - is to drinking. That painting may be a nine or ten at quitting time but in the morning it could be a number one. At any rate, I find it better to suffer interminably over multiple pieces at once. There is less guilt about doing something I love.
But here is the darndest thing. Somehow my mind seems to subconsciously time work to finish just as scheduled deadlines arrive. I usually zone out and become mediocre and unproductive in the week or two preceding the exact day that only a herculean push can be executed to turn in a respectable showing. I guess this is to protect the body mind and spirit from total meltdown. You can’t be anxious and industrious continually. The body isn’t capable. I also can’t look too closely at approaching deadlines on a calendar anymore. I have learned to regard this as heart-healthy, allowing me more red meat at dinner.
I marvel at this innate sense we have of knowing when the afterburners must be lit. In my case, not just because I know when to get serious, but that work gets better and flows more easily. It comes together because it has to. Still, I would love to just once take two or three days off before delivering new work to a show. Maybe down deep, I know I couldn’t handle the guilt.
New work pictured above: Pastel Sky, 12"x16", o/c