I’m exhausted, my eyes keep closing as I write this, I went down the rabbit hole on this painting. I knew yesterday before I started on it that I was already drained & and I should rest first, but I had several things to do first, and then I had a second wave of energy. I think now it must be some sort of adrenaline that kicks in, because I went till 5am on this painting, slept till 10 am and still put in another 2 hrs this morning.
My older boy tried to remind me, “Mom it is supposed to be a fast painting, not your best painting”. But there’s this thing that grips me, an obsession I guess, this thought that maybe I’ll get it in the next few strokes. So much can change in a few strokes. Changing the colour or the shape of something can make everything click into place & redeem the time spent.
The way I paint by blocking in colour and then pushing & pulling to build up the forms, then refining – as opposed to doing a drawing and then adding paint to it – means that I need to think through the paint, I can’t just dial it in. Or else the painting will be overworked, instead of fresh & loose. The key is to work smarter, not harder.
The problem is that when you’re overtired, your brain is impaired & it’s harder to see your way out of the spiral. Not that I was actually feeling tired at the time, but I was on autopilot. I had my headphones on, watching some series on Netflicks while I painted. It’s a bad habit I’ve picked up from my weekly sessions at a friend’s studio where she plays movies for background noise. Usually it works well for us, but I’ve been cheating & watching movies & shows I haven’t seen before, which means I’m not concentrating enough on my work. Confession time.
I have family stuff to do today, so I am going to post an older work tomorrow so that I can try and get back on track. I need to recharge my batteries so that I can start tomorrow’s painting full of energy and excitement.