Monday, September 29, 2014

Charting a Fresh Course

As I try to ease my way back into the studio after this summer's surgery, I feel like I'm in a new and different frame of mind. Ten weeks of slow living (albeit a forced occasion) provided lots of time to think. There is so much I want to do in my art life but I am keenly aware of time ticking away. My Parkinson's has made small advancements in the last few months although thankfully, it remains confined to my left side. My hands and feet have their own problems that are here to stay. The odds are good that I have at least another 20 years of productive time, maybe even 30. Looking around my studio, I see so many projects: some started but not finished and many - oh so many - still nothing more than a ghost of an idea. There's a few projects that I took past the brainstorming part; those projects and all the materials I gathered for them, reside in neatly-labeled, untouched boxes. All in all, I have enough supplies and projects-in-waiting to last me at least two lifetimes. I'm not going to cure cancer or be the first to walk on Mars; my legacy in this life will be my art and I'd like that legacy to be more than a vast collection of materials and half-realized dreams.

I decided that one of primary issues is that I am splintering my time in the studio too much, wandering from project to project or allowing other distractions to creep in such as the Internet or housecleaning beyond what is really necessary. So I developed a weekly schedule, assigning specific times for journaling, painting, and crafting as well as regular time for reading, online work, the gym, work, prep for work, and medical appointments. I left lots of "open" space in case something new comes up or I need more time for something already scheduled. Then I made a nice big chart (color-coded, of course) and taped it down to my desk. We'll see how this system works. I'm also going to assign themes to each month - very loosely - so I can focus in on the few big themes I circle around in my work. All this structure may work beautifully or it may be a complete disaster but I feel compelled to try something so I can make the most of my time.  I'll let you know how this experiment pans out...    

5 comments:

Judy H said...

This is what I am trying for myself. Making a schedule and working according to that.

Beverley Baird said...

I feel like I am in the same spot as you in terms of projects and using my time wisely. Love the idea of your schedule - I need to do something similar. I have too many projects and things I want to accomplish. For me at 62, I think about my mother who had a major stroke at 68. I haven't really dwelled on it but as the time gets closer I worry. And yet I really haven't done much to improve my health. Tried but not been consistent.

gretchen said...

good luck! i am guessing your organized approach will pay off :)

Nikki said...

I am in that same place of wanting to produce more than art supplies and half finished ideas. I've scheduled art time into my daily routine and started making a list of monthly goals to keep me focused. I look forward to seeing where your new course takes you!

Beth said...

How has this worked for you? I have been healthy my whole life until I had an accident 4 months ago with 2 surgeries. I have many unfiished art projects I want to finish but like you I find myself postponing them. I think this may be wht I need to do.

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