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Creativity and Procrastination

Creativity and Procrastination
I’ve been frustrated this summer about not finishing my creative projects. I have a bunch of ideas I want to pursue but can’t seem to get anywhere. I knew that one problem was the fact that I had so many things that I was dabbling in. You can’t move very far forward if you keep changing paths. Also, I couldn’t blame time, I had the time, but I lacked the motivation to get to work.

On a recommendation, I downloaded the book “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” and it immediately resonated with me.
Eat the frog - procrastination
Not only does the book address the things holding me back, but the author presents clear strategies to overcome this. Just reading a few pages motivated me!

Number one: I needed to define my primary goal, which is to continue revamping my online art shop. Once I identified this as the primary goal, and other projects as less important, I was motivated to attack the list of to do items (I already had). And once I accomplished one thing on the list, I was motivated to attack several other items – just as the quote above states.

Ironically this feeling, of being pulled in several directions and not finishing anything, isn’t new for me. In fact, when I started this blog (My Creative Resolution) it was my #1 problem. Having the blog, held me accountable – I felt I had to finish a project (or at least move forward) so I had something to post. And I was motivated to spend the first month or so pulling out old projects and finishing them. It was very cathartic, very satisfying, and very motivating.

I feel that way now, I’ve accomplished a lot with my online shop and am just waiting for new prints to come in. While I wait my mind is clearer to move onto the next priority – finishing my latest acrylic seascape painting. Prioritizing has helped me focus tremendously.

Click her for more info on “Eat that Frog!”

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Procrastination and Painting

Today was the first day, in weeks, that I’ve had a quiet house, all to myself. The kids were at school, and my husband was at work. Perfect day to paint, right? Right! After a second cup of coffee, it was time to get started.

But, first I had to clean out my pocketbook, throw in a load of laundry, clean my palettes, find tissues, and search for ‘8os music. What? It seemed like I was doing everything to avoid starting. And the ’80’s music? I have no idea, where that, came from. But, after I got a pandora station playing ’80s alternative music, I was a happy camper and got to work. (After I found hand cream and cleaned the papers off my desk!)

Over the weekend, I painted a purple/blue medium tone for the base coat of my jellyfish painting. As I mixed the color, I thought, “How much should I mix?” Ironically, I had to mix the color, no joke, four times. I, obviously, underestimated how much paint, the raw canvas needed! The color wasn’t the same every time I mixed it, but the base color will be covered, for the most part.

As I worked, I focused on being neater. I took the time to set up the area around my easel. Each time I work with the easel, things go smoother. But, the easel is still a little unstable. Could it be that extra screw, I didn’t use?! Read my recent post and you’ll see why I don’t read instructions! Part of my homework for next time is to fix this problem.)

As I was mixing my colors (from thalo blue, cadmium red, and cadmium yellow), I realized that I may not be able to achieve the electric purple in the photo. I may have to incorporate a premixed color. Not only was I struggling with the background color, I was struggling with the color of the jellyfish. I printed a reference photo and marked a simple grid on it. On my canvas, with painters tape, I marked the same halfway points. I wanted to make sure that the jellyfish, were in the correct spots. I “sketched” the shapes of the jellyfish (using paint).

jellyfish2b

I may have procrastinated starting, but time flew as I worked. I painted for almost two hours, and I think I accomplished a lot. I didn’t achieve the bright purple background color, but I’m happy with the color I have.

jellyfish3

I was so focused on cleaning up, that I almost forgot to write my plan for the next day. Through the process of writing this blog, I’ve come to realize how important, for me, a plan is. For the jellyfish painting, my plan is to work on refining the color of the jellyfish. Since I’ve been struggling, I’m going try using the eyedropper tool, in Adobe Photoshop, to help me pinpoint the colors in the photo.