Friday, November 26, 2010

Venice in a Single Day

I learned the art of procrastination as a child, and I also learned that I was very, very good at it. I was notorious for waiting until the night before a book report was due, to actually read the book. If a birthday card was needed in the mail, ah, it went out the night before the birthday. If I was due at an event at 2 pm, I would start getting ready to go at 1:30 pm. 

Now there is another side to me that strives to always be punctual & on time. If you say 2 pm, I will arrive at exactly 2 pm. Your birthday/anniversary/special occasion card will arrive precisely on the day it needs to be there. And my book report is one of the best things ever written or turned in by any school child.

Ok, I can see a conflict happening here. The lazy Nan vs. the punctual Nan.  Needless to say, it took quite a few years for me to learn that all I did by procrastinating was to add a great deal of self-made stress in my life. Because my work, at the very least, wound up being incomplete -- or worse, wound up being only fair in quality due to insufficient time spent on it. My cards always arrived late and I was usually the last one to arrive at any event. 

Well, enter "grown-up" years where I sit down & have a talk with myself - "you've got to do better at such things. Plan ahead, don't wait until the last minute." And I really did get better. In fact, I was ahead of schedule on most things. (Still managed to have stress, but it wasn't as extreme - or at least, it didn't feel as extreme).

So where am I going with all of this? Well, this month I took a break from painting for an entire week - which is so not like me. But 2 weeks ago I just didn't feel like painting a thing - nothing. I didn't sketch, I didn't plan, I didn't even think about it, really. I wasn't feeling well (nothing I could put my finger on, just didn't feel right) and so I didn't feel like creating.

Then, after a week went by, I realized that this month has Thanksgiving in it. So I am going to lose some time because of that, so I better get going on doing some art work. Then 1 painting did not work out well, wound up being scrapped, and a new one started over. That stole some more time. And where did this all lead to? As of right now, the end of the month is the 30th - which leaves me 4 days to finish 4 paintings. That means 1 each day needs to be finished - and the last one, by rights should be done BEFORE midnight of the 30th. STRESS!

This painting I've posted is my rendition for Venice, on A Day Not Wasted website. This is one of the 4 I needed to get done. Now ADNW challenges are usually major challenges, with complex photos uploaded by Lee. I usually take only a small portion of the work & then paint that - but even a small portion takes more than a single day. This rendition was done in a single day, and I feel it is only fair. I should have been able to do better work on it - which would have needed additional time. But because I procrastinated this month, I am left with limited time. (Rather ironic, don't you think? That I wasted a few days with procrastination, rather than getting a painting done for "A Day Not Wasted"!!!) Ah well, live & learn.

Isn't it awful when we fall back into old bad habits like procrastination (nail biting & cigarette smoking are 2 more bad ones that tend to come back to haunt at different moments in life). It amazes me that I can work so hard at correcting a bad habit, only to have it reappear one day - out of the blue - and it's as if it never left!

I may get to finish the remaining 3 paintings before the 30th - that is hard to say. They are also complex ones, so we shall see. But it did make me wake up & realize that "lazy Nan" was in control again - time to give her something to do!! 

Acrylic on 9x12 canvas


Priti said...

You!!! Procrastinating!!!- hard to believe - all i know is that you are a fabulous artist and this painting is looking good. i have seen this scene painted so many different ways and i i think yours is among the good ones. Nice work!

martinealison said...

Mon traducteur ne fonctionne pas aujourd'hui... je reviendrai plus en tard sur vos écrits que j'aimerais approfondir davantage car mon anglais n'est peut-être pas très juste!
Mais ce qui importe c'est votre toile... Pas besoin de traducteur. Mes yeux savent traduire ce su'ils voient et ma sensibilité répond que j'aime l'harmonie de vos couleur et Venise restera Venise, n'est-ce pas!
Gros bisous à vous

Nancy Goldman said...

Ah procrastination....something most of us do a little too well. Waiting until the last minute doesn't seem to have a bad effect on this painting. I love it and I don't think it needs anything added to it.


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