How do you handle it when you have so many things to do and can't get to any of them? I get one thing done and forget the other. I do the other, and forget the next. I make one necessary phone call and don't have time for the other call. And then I forget to make the other call all together. This is bad! Am I ever going to be free of these "things" and just spend the day painting? Nah, don't think so.
I remember my last semester in college when we didn't need to be in class to paint. We were to have a meeting with the professor once a month for a critique of the work we were doing at home or where ever we were painting. Weeks were passing and I felt like I had all the time in the world. I was doing everything but painting, Daydreaming of painting was more like what I was doing. Thinking about what I wanted to paint while the time passed. What else was I doing? I don't even know. Other things were happening, I was at home as a commuter student, so--I don't know! It's a blank.
Then one day I received a postcard about when the meeting with the professor would take place. It was going to be that week. Yikes! I had nothing! I knew what I was supposed to be working on and decided in a flash to get to it. My prof had previously told me to paint bigger! I tend to paint big in too small a space. Every time I painted bigger he'd say, Paint Bigger! So I got out the roll of canvas I had, kicked it out on the floor of my basement and where it stopped I cut it. I painted and painted, all day and into the night. Five feet high by nine feet long later I was done! Did I say I work well under pressure? Well I do. Doesn't mean it's a good thing.
Who could stretch such a big canvas in a small space? I painted it flat, rolled up the damp oil painting, and threw it in my car to take it to my class. Well, the professor was thrilled with my BIG work. Eventually, I painted four more like that. They were color studies and as I went on to each I used the minimum of colors to get the same effect. They were beautiful. But did I have to be shocked into doing what I needed to do? What's with that? I worked as if someone was chasing me with a lit torch. It's too stressful and panicky.
Color Study 1, oil on canvas 36x36 ©1977 Dora Sislian Themelis
I'm trying to avoid that kind of panic in my life. But I don't think I'm going to change much. Someone once asked me what I was like years ago and what made me think I was going to be much different now? I guess I'm still the same person, but I'd like to think I could change a couple of things, right?