Friday, June 22, 2012

My Confession

Donna Watson, collage, 6"x6"
I have a confession to make.  I am a procrastinator.  I procrastinate on starting new projects.  Heck, I  procrastinate starting old projects.  I even procrastinate my blog posts.  I do not have a problem working in my studio on my paintings and collages.  I have a problem trying to start projects that are art related, at the computer for example.  I have never given much thought as to WHY I put off starting new projects until I read an interview with Susannah Conway.  She has written a new book titled THIS I KNOW.  You can find out more about Susannah at her blog here.          

image by Donna Watson
Anyway, back to the interview.  She was asked if perfectionism was an issue for her.  She answered "yes" and that her procrastination was closely related to her perfectionism.  And I thought, omg, I am a perfectionist too.  I set high standards for myself.  I realized I may be putting off new projects because I fear it won't be good enough.
  image by Donna Watson
As someone who loves the concept of wabi sabi... mainly that there is beauty in imperfection... I still have this perfectionist streak in me.  
  image by Donna Watson
I have recently started... and finished... several projects that I have been putting off for months now.
None of these projects had a deadline which is why I could keep putting them off.  I seem to really need a deadline.  What helped me get started was to make a list of my goals and priorities.  I looked at it every day.  And I began to slowly check off some of my projects.  One of my projects was to make my first hand made book.  Check! (more about my book in my next blog post).  Another project was to get my small collages set up at Etsy.com/shop/donnawatsonart.  Please check out my new shop at Etsy.com (see sidebar).  
  image by Donna Watson
Now I wonder how many other artists are perfectionists and procrastinators.  Where do you fit?
  image by Donna Watson
There is a website called Smith's Magazine's Six Word Memoirs which you can find here.  

image by Donna Watson
I tried to come up with my six word memoir.  Breath in, out, in the moment.  Kick in butt, get to work.  Then I realized these are really more like actions and not really like a memoir.  So here is the one I settled on:  She has faults, but good intentions.
  image by Donna Watson
One life.  Six words.  What's yours?



40 comments:

Naquillity said...

i love your pictures... they're very zen like. especially that last one. i always have trouble getting a project started. but once i start i get into the process. mostly i finish what i've started but i can also see a few projects still lying around, sigh. i don't know that i could sum up my life in six words though i'll think on it and who knows i might even come up with something... have a great weekend~

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Donna, your still life images are very engaging!

I would like to try my hand at 6 words for you, as faults are not what I see. ;o)

for you "She creates beauty and shares generously."

for me...connecting, seeking, creating, being, laughing, loving.

As for procrastinating, yes I do that myself! There are so many things I like to do and lots I don't want to.

Connie Rose said...

I SO love your work, Donna. Wish I could afford to take one of your workshops. It's always good for me to hear that artists I love have problems with procrastination and perfectionism just like I do!

Sweetpea said...

It's not easy to confess, here amongst the interpixies for all to read. I sometimes must take a big gulp of courage before clicking the 'publish' button and sending my words out to who-knows-where.

Procrastination is one of my sidekicks...definitely. But we are more harmonious in these later years than in my earlier ones. As for my *six word memoir*... can I get back to you on that? [ grin }

ZenDotStudio said...

When I read your memoir it reminded me of the quote I have as an email tag right now. I think you might like it: "I like flaws and feel more comfortable around people who have them. I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions." -Augusten Burroughs

Yeah, I procrastinate when it's studio time. I tidy and do odd chores and could amuse myself all day but finally I get there somehow. When I get there I love it, it's just the getting there sometimes.

Is there anyone who never procrastinates?

Lovely post as always!

ArtPropelled said...

I'm even procrastinating on my 6 word memoir! Procrastinating came to me late in life. Perhaps when i got my computer... and since I found Pinterest I might as well give up being an artist. Your photos always sooth me Donna. I'll get back to you about the memoir ;-)

india flint said...

not all who wander are lost

Annie said...

Just begin and see what happens......

Laura said...

Thank you for posting this Donna... I often wonder if I'm to ponder and fill the senses, you know life's little experiences. Love you photo's

Judy Shreve said...

I am plagued by the opposite of procrastination - and tend to rush through the journey. I am constantly reminding myself to slow down and enjoy the process.

'Every step is important in life' - not a memoir - but what I need to remember.

I love your work - such quiet beauty.

Gardener in the Distance said...

Donna, these images are captivating. As to perfectionism, you cannot help it, as an artist. For myself, for whom I make no great claims, allowing the wabi sabi concept of the imperfect into your work, that moment of imperfection, is the one thing that makes a work 'perfect'.

Karin lynn said...

Love the humour and the truth in this post.....we want perfection, thus, .....Is that really possible? and so, procrastination if we are having a "doubt day"....if we are in a "positive mode".....no procrasination......the humour comes in coming up with your memoir.....Sounds just like me.

Lisa Hughes said...

Lovely,calming images! Each one tells a mysterious story. Thanks for all the time and effort put into this series of photos.
my memoir is:

Dances through life
on her toes

Carole P. Kunstadt said...

Thanks Donna,

Our inclinations towards wabi-sabi reflect our interest in knowing, getting more comfortable and eventually loving our "imperfect" selves.

Leaving the world more beautiful.

mansuetude said...

i think wabi sabi attracts the soul that seeks perfection; it seems a kind of hyper-perfectionism that appears to us, out of our control, enters through us and or our work; we know it though a zen like twining with our material or vision.

only God is perfect and didn't they always put a flaw in the weaving to remind us of this.

breath opens heart, flower upon flower

annell said...

I love to start new projects. I am interested in many things. Can't stop... have no time. Always so much to be done, to finish. Beautiful post. Whatever it takes.....

annell said...

hummmmm..... six words.....see, inner breath--inspire, make visible, begin....(and one more) again

Jo Murray said...

We all procratinate. It's hard to drag yourself away from the fun stuff, to do a chore.

nancy neva gagliano said...

yup...needer of deadlines here.
yes...fear stops me cold.
and perfection: your eye takes your hand to an object, places that in relation to another in harmony, balancing all elements, in a just right perfect way.
aw. taking OUR breath a w a y.

a memoir in 6:

making trouble while seeking the truth.

anca gray said...

me too. me too.

cracked vessel for the light. full.

Barry said...

D-such beautiful imagers; and such delightful works in your Etsy shop - wish you well. B

Patricia G said...

"Ideas ideas everywhere! Where to start?"
The dreamer in me sees such wonderful potential everywhere. Not really procrastination. That comes when I fear I'll fail or mess things up. We've got to start somewhere and accept that it's just another step on our way.
Congratulations on your shop.

Fiona Dempster said...

Lovely to go on a wander with you Donna - I'll have to ponder the 6 word memoir a bit more tho. I often find myself procrastinating on things I am scared of for sure. Other times I'm in and doing ten thousand things at once. I think fear is the key to procrastination for me.

ELFI said...

moi aussi je mets mon tableau en veille..pour le lendemain..ou le surlendemain... jamais contente...

eb said...

gather the light, be spaciousness...

love this post
and your gorgeous images

xox - eb.

diane said...

Another great post, Donna, filled with lovely images. I must admit, you gave me pause with the six words. While seemingly simple, it is not easy feat. After a page of "tests" (is that procrastination?) I came up with:

Always evolving,
she's grounded in optimism

Thanks!

Tammie Lee said...

hello,
i am a list maker and love crossing off the things that are completed! I don't think i am a perfectionist, but i love the feeling of being satisfied or joy with what i have done.

your post is lovely and you have shared wonderful things to consider.

I am not sure if this is what you mean by a six word memoir, but i find this to be powerful: Can I be, with what Is?

lovely day to you~

by land by air by sea said...

lovely photos

Mo Crow said...

dreaming into being...
only 3 words but the 3 dots makes it an open ended conversation
& re procrastination, it keeps life a bit more civilized, when else would I write e-mails, get inspired by visiting favourite blogs, catch up with old friends, go to bookshops, clean the windows, get the giant dust bunnies out from under the bed or weed the garden!

Mo Crow said...

and was trying to remember the name of this artist all morning & at last it was Christian Boltanski,
"I come to my studio every day at 10.30, and I stay and do nothing. I go to Paris sometimes. I have a few ideas. To be very pretentious, sometimes I believe it is mystical. Sometimes you find nothing, and then you find some-thing you love to do. Sometimes you make mistakes, but some-times it's true. In two minutes, you understand what you must do for the next two years. Sometimes it's in the studio, but other times it's walking in the street or reading a magazine. It's a good life, being an artist, because you do what you want".
and also woke up this morning thinking about how a surgeon will often work a 12 hour day with perfect intent, he simply can't make mistakes!
& now, it's time to head back to the drawing board take up my pencil, sharpen it to the very finest point & draw with focused intent with all my heart & everything I have learned pushed into that line...

Seth said...

First congratulations on opening up your Etsy shop. Your work there is stunning! Second, congrats on having these challenging realizations. They seem to have already taken you to new heights. Thanks for taking us along of this incredible journey of yours :-)

Jann Gougeon said...

Love your aesthetics, Donna ... and your honest sharing. Have always pushed myself to grow, so, at this stage in my life, my six are ... my faults, learning to love them. :)

Lynn said...

Beautiful and inspirational as always, Donna.
As a fellow procrastinator, I can certainly appreciate this. Thanks for the like to Susannah Conway's blog.

Jill Zaheer said...

Donna, I think we're all too hard on ourselves! Wonderful post- beautiful photos and very thought provoking.
Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I'd say for my memoir-
"I tried to do it all."

Hannah Hunter said...

"So much beauty, hands open, giving."

Thanks for this assignment Donna. I suspect that we perfectionists are draw to concepts like wabi-sabi as a way of finding balance. I often feel like there are these two parts of myself--the impulsive, generous and fearless one and the one who hesitates making a mark, her mark, any mark. Finding the middle ground is my studio practice.

Jo Murray said...

I forgot to try the six word thing.... how about 'moment by moment, living each one'

Peggy said...

Perfectionism and procrastination are always sitting on my shoulder. My 6 words: Right now is all I have.

Emma said...

I'm a procrastinator but not a perfectionist or perhaps I am in that I strive for the perfect imperfection? I too look for the flaw in a beautiful rug & then feel in good company.

I am who I am; me.

over the rainbow said...

Sought, discovered, amazed, connected, still seeking

Beatiful images Donna....your words on perfectionism are thought provoking!

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