Friday, January 13, 2017

This just in

I was talking about art the other day, with another artist friend who works in charcoal and pencil, and we agreed that there are two ways to do things:  you can either sit decoratively in a coffee shop like a proper bohemian, sipping your cappuccino and waiting for the muse, or you can get your thumb out of your ear and show up every day, whether you want to or not, and get to work.  The beat poet in me loves the idea of the first option--just sitting there having another and being all artsy, letting things percolate.  It can be useful, and sometimes it works out great, because sometimes things are really rich and ideas are flowing like wine, and you're in your hammock reading a book you bought because it was big enough to last the whole vacation and before you know what's happening you're writing Hamilton and getting enormously famous.  But really, mostly, it's all about sitting down and getting on with it, because sometimes the creative mind kind of takes a powder and you look around and it's been years and you're just not doing it at all.  He doesn't want to hear about how busy you are and how much you mean eventually to get around to something.  Every time I see him he asks me what I'm working on, and if I say, "Well, you know how it is, life and everything..." he raises a gray eyebrow at me and smirks a little and reminds me that he practices his golf swing every single day of his life, even if he has to clear a spot in the snow so he can find the ball.  He reminds me to get to work.  Whatever it is I do, I need to do it every day.  
 
It doesn't have to be good every time.  It might hardly ever be any good.  It might make me think twice about showing it to you, and force me to make a disgruntled face.  [Is this a giant anthill?  Why is the sun brown?  These are not questions I ask myself.]  I just do it, and put it on the pile, and tomorrow I will do another, and the next day, another.  There may be, in the end, 365 tiny paintings of anthills and dirty suns and unintentionally apocalyptic landscapes and scary birds, but I am not concerned with that right now. 
He reminds me to show up and do it, every day, even if it snows, and even if I wish I could just skip it and do it twice tomorrow.  How will any of it--good, bad, ugly, perfect--happen at all if I only imagine it?  

33 comments:

  1. Like this. So much. Thank you for the kick, or shove, in the getting it done direction. :)-
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  2. hi kristen...what a wonderful post...reminder...support...reality...i believe from a john wayne movie..."just get it done, dude"...take care...sally

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    1. I want that on a t-shirt. Or maybe on a Pinterest-y poster, alongside the one that says, "Never Give Up on Your Dreams, Bro." ~Kanye. :D

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  3. I love this too. But ya gotta do what you "feel" like doing, whenever that is, and not something else.......and not under pressure. Right?

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    1. I think that's where I've been, waiting to "feel like it." And if I don't feel like it for long enough, what then? So I'm showing up, whether I feel like it or not. I'm applying the pressure. It's not for everyone, I know.

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  4. Good for you!

    Enjoy the *doing*.

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  5. Love this! You have to show up and do it. Eat your peas, bird by bird, and all those other things. (Btw, it took yeeeeeeeears to write Hamilton. He showed up, too. Day after day.)

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    1. Oh, he totally showed up, absolutely. I don't think he was hunting for "My Next Musical" in the place where he found it, though. Bam! Inspiration strikes sometimes. :)

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  6. You're so right Mona. I hate having deadlines for projects, makes me want not do them.

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  7. I decided to do something arty once a week rather than every day, which seemed to pressuresome for me. This week it has been drawing mistletoe for this year's Christmas card. I know, I know, groans from all. Christmas? Are you mad woman? Probably,yes.

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    1. You're feeling Christmas 2017! I applaud you, Edwina. Eleven months from now, you will be sitting beside your fire sipping eggnog and humming carols while the rest of us are freaking out... :)

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  8. This post certainly gave lots to think about. We all need a push at times...

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  9. The paintings I see would make lovely cards or small framed gifts. They are really nice. Re use and distribute.

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  10. Just wanted to let you know that I love reading your blog , with its wisdom and inspiration and family all wrapped up in great writing. And you seem to do a lot of turning up and being creative already, there's just so many creative avenues to explore though ,isn't there?

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I am endlessly interested in all of it. :)

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  11. Really great post today Kristen. I am trying to show up more in my own life if that makes any sense at all. I am trying to be very true to myself with my views, with my hobbies and with the things that make me, me.

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  12. This is exactly what I'm thinking about these days. So I make, and I enjoy it so much, and I usually like/love the finished product. Then I think why am I doing this, who cares, I should be doing something else, what will I do with this thing I made, UGH! But then I make again, and the cycle begins.

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  13. I needed this today! Thank you! Onward up the anthill toward the brown sun!

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  14. Brava for the anthills and the scary birds and for believing and for the graft and for showing up every day. There is good timing in this post as my New Year's Intentions have somehow flitted about up in the air and failed to fix. And I'm on Day 15 already! Thank you x

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  15. Ha ha. Had a chuckle at the Hamilton bit. But the guy put in the time too. I like the look of your paintings. Go forth and (continue) painting. And enjoy. Your muse might be on the sofa...

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    1. Quite true, he definitely put in a lot of time. But I think this particular idea came to him unexpectedly, while he was chilling in a hammock, which I love so hard. xoxo

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  16. I can SO relate to this post. Thank you for saying it out loud. After two days in the house because of an ice storm, now (day three), I will get to work!

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  17. You've said it well, Kristen. xo

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  18. I've been thinking this about myself--I put all the other daily life things first, when I really just want to create. Needed this--thanks for your inspiration!

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  19. I love this so much. It applies to everything and anything. I'm finding it hard to make time for my sewing and knitting lately, but guess what? A couple of seams, a few rows, and it gets done, and the creative muscles stay flexed.
    And I love your hat.

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  20. I thought that for sure this would be the year where I get back my get-up-and-go. Then why am I here on the computer checking out what others have got up and done.....I gotta get it together......

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  21. I think you are pretty darn artistic with all your knitting projects. I'm pretty envious of you, to tell the truth because I have never been able to knit a sweater that looks decent.

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  22. that is so very true about any art or craft even. When I was writing, I simply sat and did it as if it was a job. Some was crap, but the more crap (practice) I did, the more the gems began to be unearthed and appear. I was published several times only because I just did it. He's right, unfortunately. Great post! :-)

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  23. Bravo to you! I need to be as courageous as you and get to work!

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  24. Thank you for reminding us all of that. It can be hard to push yourself to continue with something you may not think is "good enough" but it's all part of the bigger picture. :)

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