Monday, September 17, 2012

Creative Drought

  Paint me, they whisper-scream

I find myself walking around the house with a list of tasks on my mind, starting one thing only to be pulled a minute later to something else.  I start cleaning some forgotten corner of the house that clearly hasn't seen a dust rag or a broom in about a month.  Then knowing I don't really want to clean I go to my sewing desk/painting studio looking through a bags of recent crafting purchases.  Paper, stickers and stamps to work on the family scrapbooks (something meant to be easy and on-the-fly).  Cans of spray paint intended for pots and chairs for my backyard make-over endeavor.  Newly purchased fabric for tents and tote-bags I'm suddenly dying to make.  Then I jump to the computer or my iphone.  There's got to be something new.  A new comment or email, a new post from one of my favorite bloggers, a breaking news story.  Something.

Eventually I make my way to the kitchen and just clean it.  I clean it because I know it needs it and when it gets done I feel a sense of accomplishment.  Somewhat.  At least it's a task completed in a reasonable amount of time.  Then I grab a bowl of ice cream and sit down to an earlier recorded episode of Gilmore Girls and relish in some much wanted 'me' time.  Before the show is over I will have refilled that bowl 2 more times.

This is what I look like when I'm in the middle of a creative drought.  I'm dying for some sort of creative outlet, but can't find the motivation to pull it off.  This lack of artistic output makes me cagy.  I'm not a great mom and I can't focus on my kids, I want to do everything and nothing at once.  I have a list a mile long, but lack the ability to prioritize and pull the trigger.  And there is the constant feeling that there is something else--something better--I should be spending my time on.  

To fill that void I turn to other sources.  Food is one--specifically ice cream and chocolate.  Technology is another.  Not productive things like actual writing/blogging--but tinkering and surfing and wishing my life looked a little more Pinterest-y and why don't I have more followers on instagram anyway?  Because nothing says you're trying to fill a void in your life like comparison.      

A few weeks ago the thought came into my mind, You need to beautify something.

The best remedy for this is always painting.  While I love sewing, crafting and guitar playing, oil painting (aka my art-a-thon's) always seem to be the very best way to scratch that elusive, creative itch.  Probably because painting is the most challenging and mentally taxing and consequently the most rewarding.  Normally when I'd be in one of the cagy, art-starved periods that would mean an art-a-thon was just around the corner.  However, my August art-a-thon has been put on hold due to my husbands need to study for the national boards.  And I knew that it would be postponed.   In the meantime I've been piling up the projects mentally, without putting the petal to the metal so to speak--either due to lack of time, energy or motivation.


Friday evening I busted out the sewing machine.  Nothing too serious, just finished off some cloth napkins that have long been on the to-do list.  Saturday afternoon found me in the back yard sanding the vintage metal lawn chairs that are at the top of my backyard beautification project.  And Saturday evening I made a messenger bag with my latest Ikea fabric for a family friend.

It may not be painting--not yet--but I've finally started to fill that void and slowly chip away at the creative to-do list.  Slowly but surely I'm feeling a little more calm and settled.  A little more me, or at least a better version of myself.  Lets just hope the motivation continues to breed more motivation.

Damn you right side of my brian.


  1. This is totally how I feel sometimes...a good ol project does the trick.

  2. Anonymous10:23 AM

    Oh-My-Goodness!! Do you live inside my head??? I have 40-50 projects in different stages of completion & some I want to do that I haven't even started. My list is long. My motivation is short. Some are long tedious projects. Some are things I need to get done but really don't know how to start finding ways to get them done that is cost effective (such as putting reel to reel tapes on a CD).
    I sure am glad I'm not the only one in the world like this. I waste far too much time on the computer (whilst in my paint clothes to clean and paint bathroom ceiling & walls as I speak), yet I just can't seem to get the lead out of my butt.
    I've been thinking for probably a month now that on my very long project, if I just work on it one day a week, I will see progress and I am doing a tiny bit better. But not much. sigh

  3. Yep. Me too. Whew. And I thought it was just me.....

  4. I identify so, so much with this post. "I want to do everything and nothing at once." Story of my life! Thanks for being honest.

  5. yeah, wow- me, too. i contstantly start something, then something else, and never get back to finishing the first- and that's when i'm being productive! i find it way too easy to just waste time..
    and then when i don't, it's amazing what i can do in half an hour!
    nice to relate!