Natural Anxieties

I did go to work yesterday. I’m alright with that. I started the day in earnest expecting to paint like there was no tomorrow. A few hours in I started feeling anxious, as though I were over refining what I had, I didn’t have enough subject matter involved, I was screwing over the concepts with lackluster execution. That may or may not be true, I’m inclined to think it not true. I am suspecting I was getting up inside my own head and wasn’t sure what to do with myself. Fortunately work called me in and I was forced to think of other things.

That anxiety is a natural part of the game though. The edge is what helps keep me motivated and the art sharp. I haven’t tapped into that nervousness in a long time. It feels familiar but also uncomfortable. Sometimes those anxieties spill over from art and into real life, that’s when it becomes a real problem. When overly obsessing about the details is combined with my view of the big picture being skewed; it is a recipe for misery. Learning how to switch that anxiety on and off has been an effort the past number of years. I’m much better at it now than I used to be. I expect I’ll be better in the future. It’s done through a crude form of meditation. Who can argue with results, right?

I’m still not sure how to spend my time before work this morning. I could paint, but I’d rather just stare at them and think. They all have little things about them I strategize over. A shadow here, a highlight there. I have my little quartet of paintings carefully placed about my monitor so that I can glance from here to whichever catches my eye. And the process works. By the time I start applying paint to them again, I do and will feel much more certain about what I’m doing with each and where I’m going overall.

Someone might be able to find a metaphor for life in there. Not me, though. I’m too busy signing off and fetching a second cup of coffee.

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