Time Out For Art



I have come to the conclusion that I never jump into a project with as much enthusiasm as I do when I am doing it in avoidance of another project.

I didn’t just conclude this.

I probably first noticed it fifty years ago, when a homework assignment took on monumental urgency and importance when faced with the job of cleaning my room.

Or, vise versa.

I probably spent several years in denial…convincing myself of the necessity of one thing rather than the other…justifying the clear hierarchy of task importance.

I think I finally spent time pondering it long and hard – and thus finally concluding it – while trying to avoid some other pending deadline.

(Maybe I have A.D.H.D.!)

I have been pretty lax in my blog writing, lately. I planned a blog to say that I have recovered from my “funk” and thank you all very much for your kind and generous thoughts…but I went right from my “funk” into a “fit” of activity that left me no time for writing anything.


It started with a desire to get my bedroom in order.

No, it started with a string of writing commitments.

I had agreed to write an article for the Spring and Summer Newsletter of the Beaver Island Association. Another for the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative. Plus reports for the Northern Islander, the Beaver Island Forum, the Beaver Beacon and Beaver Island News on the Net on the Archipelago Meeting I attended in Lansing last month.

That got me thinking about getting my bedroom organized.

Which led to the necessity of digging out the (non-working) vehicle that I use for storage (a sort of garage-on-wheels), to get to the shelves I had stashed there. Which led to  the decision that the shelves that really belonged in the bedroom were the ones holding cookbooks and gardening books in my kitchen. What followed was a scenario worthy of a full length feature starring Laurel and Hardy.

The kitchen bookcase went upstairs. The kitchen wall got a fresh coat of paint…which forced the decision to put up the nice white shelves that used to be on that wall (because weren’t they just the best?) despite the fact that three of those shelves were now working shelves in my studio, and two others were employed as my desktop in the dining area AND that fitting the shelves in the kitchen would involve moving the all-wood 32 drawer cabinet out of the kitchen (wasn’t it always too large for that small room anyway?) and ultimately out of the house (because there is not another spot it will fit!). Which means that I had to build a new desktop, cut new shelves for the studio and empty the contents from thirty-two drawers!! I have only two shelve up in the studio, as all of this re-structuring left me short on shelf brackets, and they won’t get to the island until  the first boat runs in April. I have the contents of 32 drawers in boxes and bags on my kitchen floor. My dining room table is laden with overflow from drawers and shelves and desktop. Ditto, the kitchen counters. The bedroom is possibly the only room “in order” at this moment.


Soooo…faced with all that, of course I got very inspired to get busy in the studio…and then to blog about it.

I’ve been totally negligent about posting art on Thursdays for months now.

In fact, though I’ve had quite a few things underway, I haven’t gotten many things finished in the studio this Winter.

Faced with the disaster I’ve created around me, art-making took on epic importance.

It is Time Out for Art Thursday, after all!







14 responses »

  1. i laughed.. 

    we must come from the same gene pool.. usually when i go round and round like a dog trying to find a comfortable place to throw on brakes, i sometimes move laterally in mystifying avoidance of certain commitments.  once i start, i wonder, ‘why on earth was i dodging that task?’

    i think that we thrive on the spontanaity of the moment and ride a wave til it exhausts us.  when we have to pick up a cold project and breathe life back into it, we’d rather do something/anything else.

    like i’m attempting to read posts instead of writing an artist’s statement that must be finished by morning.   (it’s incubating in my head…)

    the art is fantastic!!!! wish i could see it in person!



    • Thank you, Lisa, for your encouragement. On one level, I know it’s normal – at least normal for me – behavior, but it feels so manic and it is SO counterproductive at times that I just keep digging myself in deeper. But, I am pretty happy with the art, too…thank you!

      • No, but wouldn’t that be great – for explanation purposes – if it was! I’m a Virgo…which seems to jive with some of the obsessive stuff…”crazy” explains the rest!

  2. I remember your mentioning how you use one project to avoid another or, at least, that you will avoid one by attacking another, so your reference to that here made me laugh. Bless your heart. You should write more about that, as I bet you’re aren’t the only one who does that. I have my own distraction issues, though they aren’t identical. LOVE the art–especially the texture! Thank you so much for sharing it!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Thank you, Claire! I’m behind on so many things, it’s hard to justify the time to write a blog, but I miss it, and the contact with all of you…and am hoping to be back on schedule soon!

  3. I think I posted something on facebook some time ago about having that same problem. I often try to convince myself all these little “pop-up” jobs needed to be done and it all will get done in the end even if today’s original task gets done as one of those “pop-ups” keeping me away from a task I started out to do on another day. At least some fine art came out of your merry-go-round.

  4. I call this phenomenon Productive Procrastination. So often I don’t do what I’m supposed to do, but accomplish something else, a lesser evil, that needs to be done. When that happens I don’t feel like a complete failure. It’s sort of like an internal, unconscious prioritizing system.

    The artwork? It reminds me of the winter we’ve been having. The white streaks are the snow that has been falling nonstop since November. The rough texture denotes to me the roughness of this year’s winter. I’m not an art critic or interpreter by any means, but I see different variations on that theme in your work, and I love it!

    • Thank you, Sara, for putting a nice name to my manic activity! I’m writing that down!
      Thanks,too, for seeing the snow in my paintings! All of my works are kind of based on time, whether calendars or moments or seasons. These were inspired by the endless tracks and ridges of snow…and the effort to see color and depth through all that whiteness. Thank you!

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