I woke up at 5:45AM (just typing that makes me want to throw something) and made sure the dogs were taken care of, that my teenage son was up (this is like a game show, wondering each time if I've won or caught myself a whammy) and then managed to run a two mile HIIT before I saw out my son stumbling to the door moaning about the unfairness of it all as he headed off to school. By 7:15AM I was showered and dressed and making an on-plan breakfast. All was right with the world.
Well, maybe not all. The morning news is enough to send anyone to the doctor to beg for an antidepressant (or a sedative. I joke, but every time I turn on the TV the world outside my door seems to be getting worse and worse. I really honestly do struggle with being informed and being sucked down into a black hole of oblivion and wanting to crawl back into bed because of it.) Still, I pushed forward and eventually made it to my studio. I even had a healthy snack (as I was supposed to) before digging in.
Where I then accomplished next to nothing. I feel like I'm forcing it, but I managed to finish the underpainting on a polar bear (that I decided to paint because I'm not interested in any of the actual projects I am supposed to be working on.) It'll look better when I switch over to color and add depth and... well, color.
|8x10, underpainting in acrylic, switching to oils for the good stuff!|
And then. Then I had lunch and ate leftovers I shouldn't have, totally bypassing my plans. It kinda went downhill from there, and I honestly just didn't understand WHY.
My daughter still hasn't gone back to college yet, so my routine is not totally normal. But... while I have mixed emotions about that, I realize that's not it. The house isn't clean, the laundry isn't done, the weather is warm and all the snow is gone (and that's depressing to me - I'll even have the windows open tomorrow because it's going to be 70.) Those aren't the reason, either. I'm not thrilled about the world, or certain aspects of my life... everything feels wrong, just slightly off of right, and that's infuriating. But, still NOT it.
Plus, I was on plan until I went into my studio. Heck, I did an ab workout yesterday with my lower body weights that has left my stomach aching like it hasn't in a very long time. I have BEEN ON PLAN even feeling like things aren't right. So what happened?
My studio. I know my art career is bugging me. I know I have ideas of what might make me feel better. But, I realize now that I lack vision. I feel like I want someone to hand me a project, a big all-consuming project that will focus me entirely on it for the whole year. As a self-employed business owner, the only person who can do that is, well, me. And as a responsible employer, I have to say that the employee in question just isn't ready for a big project like that. I don't think she could pull it off right now, she simply isn't there with her skill level.
Just look at this:
These are in-progress paintings that absolutely need to be finished. I have learned that as artists, we sometimes start paintings that will never be finished and they need to be thrown out or reused. These are the survivors of that process that need to be finished, rather than tossed. And I just keep adding to the damn pile!
Some are old. The planets? Yep, that sucker is from way back in Vermont, a few years I think, but I know exactly how it's going to be finished (and I haven't done a thing about it yet.) There is a big commission piece in the center. There are other pieces I dearly want to finish and just haven't. And the polar bears are NEW additions that I have added to the pile.
I lack vision. I'm creating and starting work, but not actually finishing anything because I lack vision. No amount of cleaning my house, or organizing my studio, or stuffing my face will change that. (Although, to be fair, I didn't try cleaning. Because, cleaning.)
So, I ate today. Did I go crazy and knock back a take-out pizza? No (also, calling a stranger and having them show up with food kind of freaks me out.) I did hit the left over Christmas candy, but probably not to the tune of major damage. Just enough damage. Damage to cause a halt in progress, maybe a backslide ever so slightly. And that doesn't feel good either. Not irreparable, but hurtful to me.
I realize that I ate because I am uncomfortable feeling lost. Like a hiker in the wilderness with her trusty backpack packed with a compass, flashlight, food, water, tent and more - I have all the tools. I just didn't bring the magic wand. I have to work this problem myself, put the tools to work, suck it up and figure it out on my own.
I ate because I am uncomfortable with me. My art is me, and I'm lost and have been for a very long while now. My original plan was to just paint. That's it. Just paint new things, try new things, and voila! New me!
As much as structure makes me itch... oh for the love of sugared squirrels, I NEED structure. Dagnabbit. Worse, I have to give it to myself!
So, I'm taking myself on as a client/artist to mentor. I have mentored several artists over the years, and now I need that myself... even if it's just from me to me. I'm putting together a plan with a schedule, and working out the details. I need to be working toward a goal, and while I don't have a specific goal yet, I can at least put the starting pieces into place.
My hope is that with more clarity and focus (and STRUCTURE) on this aspect of my life, I'll stop trying to eat my way through my kitchen like an 1980's escaped pac-man.
I can do this. I can make things better for myself.
I can do this.