I’ve Been Thinking

my thinking sailorThis morning I got out of bed, started a fire, had breakfast, made coffee, cleaned the cat boxes, gave treats to the animals, sat down for coffee and fell asleep for two hours.  I think my body is screaming out to me to slow down and FOCUS.  I’m a person that has eighteen completed journals  and an uncountable number of sketchbooks laying around my studio and house that are full of ideas for painting, writing, printmaking, reading and just plain silliness.  During the last year, due to the economy and other outside forces I’ve been doing a balancing act between painting,  shows, writing stories, writing a blog, running a small antique booth, taking classes to be a professional conservator and guardian, being an actual conservator and guardian for my mom, teaching workshops and substitute teaching.  In addition I will start classes and taking on clients in June as a creativity counselor.  My instructor is Eric Maisel. 

Whew.  My mind is so distracted that I have totally been unable to concentrate for weeks.  I’ve decided to simplify.  I’m sure my head is spinning because I try to think about too many things at once.  My head is overflowing with painting and writing ideas and they are my total passion.  Follow your passion, right?  Hard to do when the stock market is down.  BUT I will do it.  First, I won’t give up painting and drawing …that’s a no brainer.  Second, I do not like substitute teaching because I’m not the boss.  I’m used to being in charge of classes not just marking time  through seven periods and lunch.  So goodbye to that, maybe not forever but for the time being.  BUT I still love teaching art and writing so my art classes and my workshops are a real priority for me.  I work hard to give my students painting and writing skills and to jog their imagination and fight those artist blocks.  I also try and instill in them “a sense of humor” that is needed for any artist or person on this planet to survive and be happy.  Sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I encounter people who never laugh at themselves.  Very sad.  But I’ll keep on teaching and trying to find new ways to get students to realize that their own creativity can be their joy and the struggle for creativity can truly be both funny and a great ride.  Next, I did it, I’m closing my antique booth at the end of this month.  Now I can go to garage sales and the Salvation Army and buy only stuff for me and for fun to give to my friends.  I realized after a few impulse buys at an estate sale over the weekend that I’d rather decorate my own house.  I think I lost my mind for a minute when I bid on and purchased this great antique sailor man for an outrageous twenty five dollars.  If anyone has ideas for names…let me know.  You can see him thinking at the top of this post.

So I’ve simplified.  I feel better.  Painting, writing, teaching and posting is gonna get me through.  Did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci went through a phase like this?  He was also distractible, and couldn’t concentrate some of the time because he  had so many ideas that he had trouble focusing on just one at a time.  I think he only completed twenty paintings during his lifetime but he had unending ideas crammed into notebooks. He  just wanted  to get things down on paper.  He understood the fleeting quality of imagination and was endlessly curious.

“Tell me, tell me if anything ever got done.”

This was a quote attributed to Leonardo.

After long discussions with friends I’ve decided not to follow the professional conservator road.  I’m too old to start a brand new business that uses so much of my left brain.  Of course I’ll still take responsibility of my mom’s care and business affairs. Tavish's art show 2009  

I took a chance when I became a full time artist.  My imagination won’t stop even when I sleep.  I want to have time to paint and write and keep up with all of the wonderful culture and technology that we have around us during this interesting time in history.  I love doing things that bring me joy and make me laugh out loud.  I love terrible TV along with good TV.  I have a dark side that is fascinated with true crime and intricate twisted plots.  I adore Tom Waits music.  But I’ll still be able to tell you the plot of “Marley and Me” and how I laughed at that scene where Marley is running along side of the moving car with Owen Wilson holding on to him.  I like to laugh, I’m interested in lots of things and finally feel confident enough to share them with the world.  I’m happy and now maybe I’m a little closer to being focused.  Here’s a focused guy. (Tavish, my grandson at his second art showing!) Always remember to laugh like a child!

If you’d like to read more on Leonardo go to http://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.php?id=zs61txc4kwr4kd1q1rjbfxt41952gdmf

2 thoughts on “I’ve Been Thinking

  1. John Maher

    Good work on simplifying your life Jerry. I certainly know what you are talking about.

    A name for the sailor man?

    How about “Woody” or “Queequeg” or “Popguy the Sailor” or “Seacil”
    or ? I give up. When are you coming down (for dinner)?

  2. Sue Martin

    Bravo for deciding what’s most important and being willing to give up those extraneous “insurance plans.” Doing what you love is always the healthiest path. Fortunately, you are talented at what you love doing. Did you see those poor losers on American Idol last night? Their passion was clearly misplaced!


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