Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thought for Thursday

"If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes." ~ Pablo Picasso

Yes, wouldn't that be something? Happy birthday Pablo Picasso!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Resistance is Really Not Out to Get Me

Resistance Is Impersonal

Resistance is not out to get you personally. It doesn't know who you are and doesn't care. Resistance is a force of nature. It acts objectively. Though it feels malevolent, Resistance in fact, operates with the indifference of rain and transits the heavens by the same laws as the stars. When we marshal our forces to combat Resistance, we must remember this. 
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art 

How lovely to be acquainted with Mr. Resistance and know, for a fact, that it isn't out to get me. Personally. Oh, how nice.

Well it seems like it is, you know, evil. That's just my opinion. So it's nice to know it doesn't know who I am, nor does he care. Ooh, even better. I'd like "him" to leave then. Now.

Session 3

Resistance is annoying, but what can I do about it? Just move on. Admit to falling through the rabbit hole once again, and get on with it.

After all, it's nothing personal. Just business.

Monday, October 22, 2012

No Beach, but Artist's Date at Clark Botanical Garden

Isn't it amazing how time actually does fly by? My brain is still at the beach.

Inside my head it's a beautiful sunny day at the ocean and I'm looking out at the horizon. My bare feet are pushing around the warm sand in front of me, iced coffee is on my left and my painting equipment is on my right. There's a slight breeze and the air has a slightly salty signature.

Sigh. I don't even have to close my eyes to imagine the scene.

Reality check: it's well past beach season at this point in October. Let's be real here, as much as my head says "beach" it isn't very likely to be good enough weather to go there wearing a light jacket and enjoy some quiet time.

However, I did take a quick ride to a nearby botanical garden on a comfortable day last week with the Princess (my granddaughter).

One of the ponds at the Garden

Artist's Dates have been lacking lately, and there won't be beach visits now, but this garden trip was a good alternative. Clark Botanical Garden in Albertson, NY is a ten minute local drive from my house and the day was warm enough to be outside for a while. I grabbed some lunch and my 'munchkin' and we were off!

What a beautiful place it was, too. I'd never been there, always wanted to go, and now that I have I know I will be back with painting supplies. This 12 acre garden had so much to look at and enjoy with sunny open areas, colorful seasonal flowers, a child's size privet hedge maze, woodlands, shady areas, woodlands, ponds, rocky brooks. They were preparing for a Halloween spooky walk which was fun to see.

The Princes with spooky stuff hanging in the trees

Mindful of my charge, I didn't take too many photos as I would have had I been all alone. We walked along paths that lead in and out of the different gardens. As we walked through the woodland pond area with tall trees we could smell evergreen pines and tried to breathe it in deep.

A restful spot overlooking a pond
Walking out of the woods, we found a sunny pond area bench where we had lunch. Both of us were happy to enjoy the lovely, late fall day outside in this beautiful, quiet place.

So it isn't the beach. I'll be painting here one day soon.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Enemy Within

Resistance is Implacable

Resistance is like the Alien, or the Terminator, or the shark in Jaws. It cannot be reasoned with. It understand nothing but power. It is an engine of destruction, programmed from the factory with one object only: to prevent us from doing our work. Resistance is implacable, intractable, indefatigable. Reduce it to a single cell and that cell will continue to attack. 
This is Resistance's nature. It's all it knows.
The War of Art, Steven Pressfield

adjectivenot to be appeased, mollified, or pacified; inexorable: an implacable enemy 
 [im-plak-uh-buhl, -pley-kuh-]

Red Leaf ©Dora Sislian Themelis, Watercolor on Canson paper

Yes, I had to look up the word "implacable." Mr. Resistance is that word and every one of it's meanings. It's an enemy, a foe, an army bent on destruction.

No wonder I can't get any work done around here.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Where Inspiration Comes From

All this web based business stuff is giving me a big headache. It's hard enough to keep pushing away resistance, and now I've made life tougher by trying to decide on my next cyber move: Paid web hosting vs free hosting. I played around with the free site thing and have concluded I might as well use the more professional looking paid site because free is just as much work. I'm websited out.

Can't I get a break and just paint?  I did start another painting though, and even had a second session. Working the next watercolor work on large paper, with a large brush, is having a calming effect.

And if you want to have a good laugh, guess where my inspiration to get down to work came from? It didn't come from the obvious source: reading The War of Art. 

A two year old's work and my sketch of her while she paints

To be perfectly honest, it came from watching my 2 year old granddaughter paint. That kid is funny. She demands the "colors" and I have to oblige. I've shown her how to dip her brush in water, then on the watercolor cake I had from years ago, then to the paper. She's a pro now, and paints with such abandon, it's infectious. I love it! 

Next painting

Session 2
This was such a productive day. Two different sessions of working and I was trying some new ideas in applying the paint. While the work was drying I was on such a roll that I made two bracelets at  my work table. Thanks to my grandbaby, the real artist.

When the motivation is there, and the brain works it's a good thing, as long as it doesn't blow up, like computers.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thought for Thursday

"I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer. It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up."~Erma Bombeck

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's Not You, It's Me

Welcome to the wonderful world of Resistance, where it's all your fault. No, it has absolutely nothing to do with me, of course.


Mid-Morning ©Dora Sislian Themelis, Watercolor on Canson paper

Resistance seems to come from outside outselves. We locate it in spouses, jobs, bosses, kids. 'Peripheral opponents,' as Pat Riley used to say when he coached the Los Angeles Lakers.
Resistance is not a peripheral opponent. Resistance arises from within. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated.
Resistance is the enemy within.                                  

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
Well, obviously, it's about me, us, the artist, the whoever wants to get anything important done. I know this all too well. It's the old story where we blame everything under the sun as to why things don't happen: the laundry, the kids, housework, the garden. I'm sure you can think up quite a few others.

Busy is the code word for Resistance. And it's interesting how 'busy' we can get when we're supposed to be working.

As I go along in this life I think the side of me that hates having Mr. Resistance over stay his not-so-welcome welcome is gaining the upper hand. "His" visits have become shorter.

Right now I'm blaming my none painting on mat board. Yes, that's right, mat board, or my lack thereof. If I had more mat board I could finish matting the paintings I have waiting and clear my desk so I could paint.

Yeah, right.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Dilemma

It never fails to amaze me how I can do such a good job of Not working. Just amazing. I thought for sure I'd get something done the last couple of days. Did I? I did not. Slacker. 

I sure do talk a good one, though, don't I?

Shells ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
Watercolor on Arches

Maybe Julia Cameron was right? In her book The Artist's Way, she says Don't Read. You know what happens when the brain hears the words "don't read"? The brain doesn't hear it the way we think it will. The brain hears only the word 'read' totally ignoring the 'don't' part.

And what happens? I end up reading everything I get my hands on.

The moral of the story is reading leads to Not Working. Did you get that? I'm doing all kinds of reading: newspapers, email, blogs, junk, among the how to break through resistance. Isn't that nice? Reading about moving past resistance, instead of just moving past resistance.

It's a dilemma.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mr. Resistance, Why Are You Still Here?

Resistance is Invisible
Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-protential. It's a repelling force. It's negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work. ~Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
In an effort to help my art making persuade Mr. Resistance to think it was his idea to cut short his stay, I've started re-reading Steven Pressfield's book, The War of Art, as I mentioned in my latest posts.

Julia Cameron, in her book The Artist's Way, says we should NOT read. Where do you go with conflicting thoughts on this subject? 

I read. Sorry. Right now I need a kick in the pants, again, so I'm reading.

And since I'm reading, and obviously this is a sore subject for many of us artists, some of my yapping could help you, as one of my wonderful readers commented on it. 

Hey, we've all been there, and done that at one time or another. Every now and then, we all need to be kicked in the pants.

I talked about this book in posts a while ago, when I started reading it, and felt really good afterwards. Even recently, I had an adrenalin rush after reading it and immediately picked up my stuff and went to work. 

The War of Art is easy to read, consisting of short blurbs of information, titled to grab your attention quickly, like the one at the start of my post. 

So easy, though, that you might think you can just scan and move on, but that would be a mistake. This is my only criticism, because I scanned a few, got my fix, and shortly after stopped reading. 

Here I am again, back at the beginning. Will it become a weekly post as I did while I read The Artist's Way? It would be nice, but don't hold me to it. 

I'm Artist A.D.D. like that. But I'll try.

I'll tell you, one thing, Steven Pressfield knows what he's talking about, and says it in such a way that you recognize the Resistance thing right off the bat. He speaks my language, anyway. 

So here's my call to action: What helps you boot Mr. Resistance out the door? 

I would love to see your comments. In the meanwhile, I'll be reading, and hopefully, painting.

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