Monday, February 22, 2010

The Problem With Painting

The problem with painting- and, I suspect, with any craft- is that it takes so darn long. So for instance, I spent alllll day Friday plotting out pictures, and allll day Saturday painting, and I have...this:

...which is to say, a scannerbed full of embryonic paintings. Two, actually; I ain't even showing half the work I cranked out. I know some people out there are saying "Well, why not focus on one painting until it's done, instead of making a whole bunch that aren't", and the answer, dear darling readers, is that paint needs time to dry. Especially for the stuff I'm doing, here, which is a lot of playing with textures and overlays. So the best use of my paint-time is to do a bunch of work in a setting, rotating pieces as they hit the dry-and-wait stage.

The deeper problem, with me, is that I have a brainspan of maybe a day. I can always come back to a project, yes, but my working time before a migraine/seizure knocks me flat is 8-16 hours. And if I can't get a project to a pretty good level of completion before then, I'm liable to forget what the heck I was trying to do, and unlikely to remember in the next couple weeks. I have projects it took siz months to finish, just because I totally forgot about their existence or purpose.

This is why I don't drive, by the way. "Huh, that light's red now! Pretty! Wonder why it changed..."

Anyway, I'm staring at these now, and I think I know where to go with them. But only because I made some detailed careful sketches and notes along the way. So today's question for you, gentle readers (and violent readers too, of all people I want the violent ones on my side) is: How does your internal art department function? Can you work on a thing daily for weeks? Do you need a deadline? Can you crank out whatever you need whenever it's asked for?


Beth said...

Short attention span here too! I think that's why jewelry suits me. And probably why I really have no desire to recreate pieces. Once I'm done, I want to move on :)

Nana said...

My internal art department works at will (at its own will and in its own time). I can't force inspiration to kick in. It's either there or it isn't. I find I have much more success if I'm doing something for my own pleasure. If I'm getting paid for my talent or if there's a deadline, that takes all the fun and enjoyment out of it and it becomes work.
I never do the same thing twice. One thing might lead to another but I don't go back and do the same thing again because I'm not in the same place anymore.
I don't know if this makes any sense to anybody else but me!
I'm looking forward to reading other people's answers to your question.

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

I tend to work in groups also. If I have 6 albums to complete, I don't do one start to finish...instead I work on all 6 in steps together :)

Very Verdant said...

I hate deadlines, they stress me out but they also inspire some of my best work.

I prefer to work for a couple days at a time but when I do I want the whole day. A little here and a little there will not cut it for me.

Loved your post.

storybeader said...

I like to work on one journal at a time. But then, I have to complete all my work. With bookmaking, at least mine, I have to wait for things to press (flatten) and there's steps to take, so it usually takes me a weekend to complete a project!

Don't see any problem with having various paintings going at one time.

thehauntedstudiounderthestairs said...

I need more space to explain the process I go through


NICO Designs said...

I am horrible about losing focus! Especially when the kids are running around and getting into everything.

Jingle said...

I have an extremely short attention span. I try to finish projects in no less than two sittings because I have a habit of losing interest if it goes longer than that.

Gypsy Moon Art Studio said...

I also work in groups. My problem is these parasitic young lifeforms in my house that suck all the creative juices out of me...good thing they are cute or I may get rid of them. When I do get time to sit down, I have so many ideas that I often don't know where to start and end up working on several things at once. I have a whole slew of single earrings because after I try an idea for one, I want to move on to another idea and don't want to make a duplicate.

mermaiden said...

I too hate deadlines. And I have a love/hate with custom orders. These things stress me out.
I work on trays, many trays that I can move around as the inspiration hits me to add a thing or two to a project in the works. Trays of metals, glass, fabrics, etc etc.
It took me 10 years once to finish a quilt.
And I will often not entirely finish a piece before listing it- like I'll leave the lining out, or the button closure off until it sells and then I quickly go and finish the last detail. It's just that it's done in my head, and something else needs my attention.

But I get such great satisfaction when it's all zipped up.

Anonymous said...

I will usually have a few weeks between doing ANYTHING creative at all during which I plan out what I'd like to do, and generally be a stressed out, boring responsible adult. Then, I will start 3-4 projects at once, all in extremely different fields. Which I will then pick one and work on for a day. If I don't get enough of it done that I remember where I was going with it (like a pattern with a costume, or a sketch laid out and base colors. If I don't get that far, I tend to never EVER finish them, because they completely lost my interest.

Ruthie said...

Tough question. I tend to be working on a bunch of different projects at once because I can only work on one thing for so long... But if I have a dead line that I care about I can go all super woman on a project sometimes and focus on it for hours and days at a time. :P

TiLT said...

wow - tough one...I think my internal art department is built based on a pinball just doesn't stay still...and to get the next ball rolling - I need to give it a push...and bonus fun if more than one are on the table at the time :)