Sometimes I have a hard time starting, and at times, that is the bane of my existence. But once I start, it’s all good; it’s smooth sailing. I know this in my analytical mind, and yet I seem to ignore it every time. Why do I do that? I don’t even know. But I’m sure a lot of people have this problem, no?
This happens with writing, painting, and maybe especially when I have to work on something I’ve already started. It’s because, in my mind, the idea is already completed.
I never knew myself as a procrastinator, but I’ve become one in my old age. I’ve been calling myself lazy these days. Hannah says I’m the least lazy person she knows. She may be thinking in terms of all the years she’s known me because I used to be much more prolific in terms of cranking out the work. There came a time when I became super concentrated on the process and slowed things down, a lot. This was an influence Agnes Martin had upon me after watching some interviews with her many years back. It was after I came back from a residency at the Vermont Studio Center.
Despite these procrastinations, I’ve accomplished quite a bit on my to-do list over the past month, and some of the accomplishments were completed paintings, but most of them were getting my name changed on my bank accounts, credit cards, and other profiles, etc. Lots of administrative logistics. Real actual painting has been pretty minimal, at least to my standards.
I think this is because I’ve been dreaming about all the things I want to make after I finish the two paintings that are sitting here for me to finish for the show. They are both drawn out, and one is even partially painted.
My new ideas have been sitting here in my brain, cooking. Stewing really. And I’ve been meaning to read a book I downloaded about indecision or rather, learning how to make decisions because again, I’m pretty undecided about which direction to pursue. I’m split between doing complete abstraction and these “scenes” I’ve been contemplating. One is subjective and one is objective, and I suppose, like always, I can work on both at the same time. That’s better than working all over the place on several series at once like I’m used to.
The abstract pieces can be tighter, That’s more my wheelhouse. I imagine these scenes to be totally loose, which is a challenge. Neither are landscapes at all. I want to put that away for a while. It’s not that I’m sick of them. I still really like how they turn out, I’m just “done” with creating them for now.
I keep separate sketchbooks. The Eye-book, which I haven’t really worked on lately. Now I’ve been keeping an abstract composition book of drawings that I had intended to process much like the Eye-book, but it hasn’t worked out that way. No real writing has accompanied it.
Now I wish to do one with the kooky scenes. The scenes would be taken from dreams mixed with family photo references—so they’d be somewhat figurative in interior backgrounds (for the most part). They’d still be pretty abstract, but nothing like the others.
I started one on a panel years ago, like in 2019. So long ago. It was my mother lying on the couch in the 1970s. It’s one of a few candid photos because she wouldn’t have wanted that picture to have been taken. She was in a long-time depressive state. It was a surprise that she was even out of her bedroom watching TV on the couch, so I took the picture. I must have been seven years old. She got so pissed at me, but I thought I might hardly see her again so I took it with one of those Instamatics.
I’m sure the painting won’t capture any of these feelings or the time and space, but I wanted to paint it. It’s about the process really. Hopefully, I can get to these ideas and paint them soon. The trick will be to just start.