Art Posts

Car Posts



Managing Satisfaction

I’m putting out root.

This part of the creative process must look wasteful and massively unproductive from the outside and measureably it is, as long as the measure is not whole-process based. Even I succumb to frustration with this stage, and I know better.

I’ve long wondered if the sudden acquisition of vast wealth would serve me better, or set me back. It ought to be all advantage, but it would be no advantage at all if wealth managment and excess self indulgence divert me off the path. No such acquisition has occurred so it’s all theoretical, just so you know.

The reason I wonder is because of my small experiences that may parallel the effect of wealth aquisition as a warning.

Having ‘stuff’ can be satisfying in it’s own right. So much so that nothing gets created because needs are met. Overly satisfied individuals may not be the best creatives. There’s serious value in longing.

It’s nonsense to believe that artists or other creative types have to suffer before their power can be unleashed. Most don’t.

But it’s also true that the food review changes with the context of the taste experience. If the reviewer has been eating Mexican food constantly and is already full, the review of a burrito dish will read differently than if they’d come craving nourishment after a challenging day where eating had been omitted from the schedule and Mexican grub hadn’t lately been on the plate.

Some things heighten appreciation. A smart artist manages this.

Attitude makes the difference.

So today and for the past week I have been putting together production plans and ideas for painting projects. I’ve been pondering concepts.

Meanwhile, nothing new gets made in the studio.

Still, fresh off of several high yield photo shoots and flush with new material, I should already be nose to the canvas and busy for months without ever taking a break.

But with so many painting ideas creating so much opportunity, a new problem crops up. They’re all good but I can’t do all of them at the same time. I must pick the best painting to do right now. So I evaluate. Now I find myself doubting the value of each concept compared to the others. Instead of just getting in there and doing the work, I second guess myself and start asking initiative killing questions.

What will this mean to people? Family and friends advise me against some of the art, particularly the ‘girl’ pictures. But what’s more beautiful? Cars? I hear the same line. Landscape? No complaints from anyone. All seem to love the landscapes. But the metrics available to me show a reverse response: the cars, then the girls, then the landscapes are the most viewed of the posted work.

I imagine ways other people can fault my work and the silly explanations they concoct for it. Then I begin to devalue what I paint, for example realizing that cars are objects and maybe I’m spending valuable talent encouraging something I ought not.

This paralyzes me so nothing gets painted. Nothing gets drawn. Nothing gets sculpted.

I stay in the preparatory cycle, gathering materials  and mulling over painting ideas, still wondering if they can be justified.

After weeks (in the past, much much longer periods) comes a sudden inspiration. (‘sudden’ doesn’t mean totally new, it means that a missing part for an idea long considered has suddenly been discovered and I can procede)  Unwilling to give any place for the doubts or worries, I throw myself completely into the art, fueled by a confidence that this will be a beautiful thing I’m anxious to get right. Every thought that would apply brakes is ignored. There’s no effort except to bring it through that corridor that transitions thoughts into things so that others can have those thoughts also.

So while there is peril in the unproductive periods of down time, that gets overcome. It’s a fault of mine that I second guess this work from time to time. Mostly I do that right after some giant boost has come to the studio, which I find ironic. I’ve got to work the pedals so that the machine hums along and so I don’t get sidelined by doubts.

Partly this means learning how to manage satisfaction. Having too much of it is an indulgence I can’t afford. Ever.



Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Fenimore Central



Washington, USA


Phone No.

Upon Inquiry. Otherwise - spammers




24 / 6


Contact me

Form submitted successfully, thank you.Error submitting form, please try again.