Tuesday, September 14, 2010

the Art of Procrastnation: Caffeine on the Couch

The girls are finally back at school. The oldest took herself early by subway. When the door shut on my husband and younger daughter at 8AM, I grabbed my tea and sank down on the couch for the best hour of the day. Silence descends and I come to myself. First day of my Fall art making season!

Cup of the Day #33
Ebullient Cup by Gwyneth Leech, 2010
Colored ink and white-out pen on blue cup

For days, in free scraps of time, I have been cleaning out filing cabinet drawers, sorting through piles of papers and mail accumulated over the Spring and Summer, shredding, updating my e-mail address book, scrawling ideas and plans on the back of envelopes and looking longingly at my art materials and piles of blank cups. Now a whole day stretches in front of me. I am happy. I am excited.

Actually, I am terrified.

How will I get back in the groove? 

I start with a quick review of my current read: Twyla Tharp, the Creative Habit. (Simon and Schuster, 2003). I am only a few chapters in but this book speaks to me. I have read a lot of these sorts of books: the Artist's Way, Art and Fear, I Rather Be in the Studio. They all have something to offer the artist stumbling through a morass of life obligations that seem to keep us from our work. Why is it so hard to put art-making first?

Twyla is fierce and indomitable. I am absorbed in her first section on preparing to prepare, about the rites and rituals we put in place to get ourselves in front of our work habitually. She starts her days by working out from 6-8 AM. Her ritual is the getting into the cab to go to the gym. Too hard for me! I keep reading. Page 17, she describes a California author who can't write indoors, so his ritual is the carrying of a mug of coffee to an open porch where he works every day. I am so on board with that one! Once I am down the street and buying that cup of coffee in a paper cup, I know my feet will take me straight to the studio and the rest will happen.

Now all I have to do is get off this couch...


  1. coffee cups and street sounds to invigorate your new art season. and you are off!