Tuesday, March 15, 2016

True Confessions

Art Journal collage, 8 x 8 inches
So...the painting lesson two weeks ago did not inspire me at all.  So I "ditched" class that week.  Last week's lesson was also not real engaging, although I did do a bunch of starts (first-layered sheets).  But then I never felt turned-on enough to finish them off.

Meanwhile, I was really busy two weeks ago and also needed the time off from painting.  And by the time last week rolled around, my motivation for painting was kaput.

I've given myself permission to not finish the class.  There are four lessons left and of course I'll print out the PDFs and watch the videos.  And I might even feel inspired enough to do some painting.  But I'm not going to force myself if my motivation is still on the wane.

Another thing, at this point in my painting career, or anything else for that matter, if a lesson doesn't speak to me and isn't something I'll use in future, then I don't feel I need to do it.  Most of the earlier lessons' worth of paintings I posted used new-to-me techniques that I hope to explore later on.

I've also been involved in an intense online Buddhist Practice Period through San Francisco Zen Center since late January.  And the two major things together -- the Practice Period and the painting class -- have been too much for me to manage comfortably.  Had I not enrolled six months earlier for Jane's class, I wouldn't have taken it.  But I would have forfeited my money.  (Her classes regularly fill up six or more months before they happen.)

At any rate, I'm clear on my priorities -- I'd rather be focusing on Buddhist practice than painting now.  That, and reading a lot.

I got myself a Kindle Paperwhite recently, ostensibly so I could read the really wonderful eBooks that Tricycle Magazine publishes periodically for sustaining members.  There was no way I was going to read them on my computer.  So I bought a Kindle.  And I'm enjoying it a lot.  I've already checked out several books from Library-To-Go, and gotten numerous free books from Kindle and other online sources.

The last book I mentioned here, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, was a Kindle library loan.  Then I read C.J. Box's latest Joe Pickett book, Endangered.  Then I read a terrific bio of C.S. Lewis, called C. S. Lewis - A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet by Alister McGrath.  Currently I'm reading a memoir by Lily Tuck called The Double Life of Liliane.  Plus those Tricycle eBooks one at a time.

In hardcopy, I'm reading David Whyte's Consolations, a beautiful journey deep into specific individual words.  Savoring, more than reading.  Also Diane Ackerman's Dawn Light.  I borrowed that from the library, and not far into it realized I needed to own it.  Another very evocative exploration of the wonders of the natural world.

Happy Spring!


Charlton Stitcher said...

How closely I identify with you when you say that, if something doesn't speak to you, you don't feel you need to do it! I belong to a few fibre art groups which regularly organise workshops and talks and I used to feel obliged as a member to take part. The result was that I sat through several rather tedious days (who needs those in pursuit of a leisure activity?) and produced half-finished pieces of work using techniques I'll never use again. I resolved sometime towards the end of last year that I would not do that from now on and I feel so much better for it.
All good wishes to you - and enjoy that Kindle (they're an unexpected liberation!). Margaret

jenclair said...

You do what you need to do. Sometimes one thing takes priority over another. Enjoy your Buddhist practice!

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

Ah, the benefits of learning about ourselves! So refreshing to be able to decide what is really worth our time and what it's better to pass on, congrats! Enjoy your kindle... I'm still hooked on paper, but can see many benefits to going in that direction.

Rayna said...

I never forced myself to read/do something that didn't engage me. My mother called me a quitter, but I have always thought it was a perfectly fine idea to quit when something wasn't worth the effort. Good call, dear friend! Life is too short - trust me on that.

Peggy Lynn said...

You don't "should" on yourself, and that's a beautiful thing!!

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I like what Rayna said...good to quit when it isn't worth your effort. To know when to quit is key to knowing yourself and this isn't about loss as the lessons are downloaded and available when the time might be right. Thank you for the links to your book titles...you have quite an interesting selection here!