Saturday, January 30, 2010

Define it. Defeat it.

After struggling with "selfish artist guilt" for many years, I wanted to balance my "day job" responsibilities and give in to my desire to paint again. I had been trying to connect with artists by getting involved in an Artist's Way group about 45 minutes from my home.
One day, I had a day-job deadline, and an artists' group assignment deadline. After fulfilling other appointments, I had about three free hours in the afternoon. Usually, I would tell myself I didn't want to work at home, but if I didn't get my work done, I shouldn't be painting, either. Thus I would procrastinate miserably on both, and get nothing done.
But on that day in February 2009, I decided to do something effective. I divided the hours in half, working on the day-job stuff first, then painting for 1-1/2 hours. I knew if I worked on the painting first, I would never leave my studio. So, I set a timer and trudged through my paperwork.
And, yes, I was so happy when that timer went off. I wasn't through with my work, but I had begun, which was more accomplished than the alternative results.
Running with a guilt-free heart to my small studio space, I began a colorful painting that had been lurking in my head to fulfill the assignment. I completed it that afternoon and it's become one of my fave paintings. At the group that night, one member requested a print of the painting, since it seemed to illustrate her personal journey.
I refer to this as the Half & Half Technique. Yes, it's sad that some of us have to play tricks on ourselves to accomplish anything. But finding what works for you can be extremely rewarding when you have struggled for years with a mentality that holds you back.
If you're struggling with something, sit yourself down, and honestly figure out what it is that holds you back.
Then make a plan to defeat your foe.
Become a warrior for your inner artist, and fight for your studio time, unique voice, personal choice of media, risk-taking permission, or a license for imperfection. These are just some of the essentials we all need to protect while creating. What is holding you back?
Define it. Then, defeat it.
Love & Laughter,

Oh...the painting?
It's the one entitled "Isaiah 40:31"
This reassuring verse states:
"But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint."
Lemme tell ya, when life gets tough, it doesn't get any better than that.

"Isaiah 40:31" oil on canvas by DJ


Mary said...

This painting is beautiful!!!

Leslie Avon Miller said...

What a fabulous way to meet your "must do" and "want to do" time conflicts. Great attitude! Thanks for letting me know!

CountryDreaming said...

Love your solution to time management! My solution tends to be fitting everything in by not making time for things like eating or sleeping. Your way is much healthier! Sounds happier too, and definitely led you to rewarding results.

ArtPropelled said...

I remember this beautiful painting DJ. Funnily enough I tried something similar to your Half & Half technique yesterday before even seeing your post, though it was more about conquering a creative block.

DJ said...

Mary, Thanks for your kind words. I've come to the realization that the smile in your avatar photo always makes me feel better. Thank you.
Leslie, I'm convinced that this very conflict derails many creatives! Thanks for taking your time to visit & read.
Country, If I don't eat or sleep, I get debilitating migraines, so I have to do at least that much in self-care. I wish I could survive off four hours of sleep like some, but my body won't let me.
Robyn, I'm thinking some people naturally do this; I just took longer to figure it out~ lol! How did it work for you?

Manon Doyle said...

Gorgeous work!! I like the way you managed your time! I may have to try that!!

Janet said...

Thank you so much for the lovely comment you left at my led me here. I love the way you made time for what you wanted to do. Good for you!

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Define and defeat it! I'm in the process right now of trying to define it so I can defeat it! What an inspiring post and beautiful painting.

Thank you DJ for stopping by my blog and leaving such a encouraging comment today.

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Oh and I forgot to say, thank you DJ for becoming a follower! Blessed my socks off!

Lee Ann

Meandering Artist said...

DJ! This is magnificent! Colors, composition,meaning. Wow. I do hope you keep up your half and half method...I want to see more :-)
I really love the face of the atmosphere in the yellow background

Shayla said...

That is a beautiful verse and thanks for sharing a creative way to carve out studio time. It's an inspirational piece.

DJ said...

Manon, Judging by the awesome work on your blog, you have no problem finding time to create.
Janet, Thank you for stopping by. I'll return to your blog for more gorgeous artwork.
LeeAnn, I've added you to my blogroll so I can keep up with your inspirational posts.
Meandering, I'm a huge fan, so I'll be keeping up with you through Coach Creative Space. Thanks for checking on me here. Love Ya!
Shayla, You're so busy exhibiting your mysteriously beautiful landscapes, I'm impressed that you took precious time to stop by. Hugs!
and Love & Laughter to all.

Usha said...

This is gorgeous DJ! Nice colors and theme. I love it. Thank you for you nice comments!