I am taking Gene's definition to heart, increasingly. Yesterday I coped with a slow and frustrating email reception by doing something the computer recommended (don't remember what it was, some kind of reset, but it worked!) And I backed up files on a thumb drive, something I've resolved to do for months but avoided because I didn't know how. That worked, too. My computer "production," such as it is, now goes more smoothly and if the aging machine crashes I will have the files to put on a new one.
All that gave me courage to face my nemesis, the vacuum cleaner.
It didn't work. It didn't suck, and that sucks. This is all Pat's fault; he was the guy who did the vacuuming, so I never had to deal with it. Now, he's been gone for more than two years, so that means I've been, well, not vacuuming for that long--I've been making do with the even more ancient "electric broom," which does an OK but not a great job.
In cleaning out boxes in the studio I found the original manual (I had also downloaded the manual from the web, but somehow it didn't feel the same). I took that machine apart and cleaned out everything, washed the filter, pulled out enough cat hair to knit a sweater. Let it dry overnight, put it back together, and by golly it worked. I vacuumed the hall and living room and felt proud of myself. I suspect it never occurred to Pat to clean out the filter--certainly I don't remember him ever doing that.
So now I am resolved to do more engineering. I'm committed to a one-person show in October-November of 2015, requiring the production of more and smaller pieces that would be likely to sell. I need to plan for finishing before undertaking the pieces, make the size appropriate for home display and standard enough to be mounted on stretcher bars or canvases. My usual mode is to let the materials dictate the size, which means I end up with pieces appropriate for exhibitions but not for homes. I foresee some conflict in this change, but I'll keep you posted.
What's interesting, I think, is the planning vs. instinct friction. I could characterize it as head vs. heart (there was emotion wrapped up in that vacuum cleaner) and recognize my real talent for procrastination, but it's not entirely that. I think I just resist standard sizes, standard rules (what's the big deal about square corners, anyway?), fashionable color schemes, focal points. I'm sitting here typing and my brain is transmitting "No! No! Leave me alone!" But there's some virtue in discipline and order, you know. Not total virtue, but some. It's nice to have an appliance that runs properly. It would be nice to sell some art, although thank God my food budget isn't dependent on that. Engineering. I can do it.