If you ask any accomplished artist how to break through the procrastination and get going they will usually say something like...just start! Today after months of researching my ancestry till the 8th century when names were only consonants, sewing strips till covered in thread, designing screens in PhotoShop, trying to decide if I needed to dye some fabric for the first piece or if I had some in stash (I did), writing about the process on my blog, having a couple Skype conversations and various other interesting aspects of the project, I just started.
I was planning to just start last week but a combo of procrastination and jet lag forbid it. Then I was going to just start this weekend but jet lag and Chinese food met head on and took me out for a day…and not into the country either! So today I woke up early enough to get my walk in before the forecasted heat wave and was nearly set to hobble downstairs to just start with some discharging when I decided I really should make one more screen for this piece so off to Kinkos I went for the copy. While I was out I picked up a few groceries and the dry cleaning.
I came back ready to just start, gathered up my supplies to go downstairs where it is cooler…further enticement. In my arms were the roll of screening mesh which I now keep upstairs to interfere with vermin snacking on it; the two panels of cloth I want to discharge and paint with one distinctly marked so I knew which screen to use on it. I was very grateful for my cleared print table so set some supplies on it before I headed off for an adjacent room where my Thermofax machine patiently waits. I couldn’t see it though as all of hub’s ski clothes and ski luggage had been piled on top of it. WTH? I knew he would not do such a sacrilege thing but soon figured out the contractor must have when pulling wire for the new kitchen lighting. So once I rearranged the ski department I was able to just start on the screens. Three screens down and the carrier got stuck in the machine reminding me to pay attention to what I was doing.
So I pulled up a stool and put together the six new screens, then opened a new bottle of dishwashing gel and just started in. The first piece instantly proved to be stunning. So inspired I quickly moved on to the second piece noting the aforementioned mark that required a different screen. It also came out beautifully but it was not until they were hanging side by side, drying over the boxes of pots and pans on the basement floor, did I realize I screen-printed the 2nd one upside down! I had laid the cloth on the design wall to make an interesting composition and here in one fell swoop just made it average.
The important part though is this piece is all about the message. It is not so much about the messenger. And while I anticipate it to be an interesting and moving start to this series of 25 works with its surface design and imagery I doubt anyone will notice or say she shoulda’ printed that going the other direction! At the same time it disturbs me that I screwed that up.
Why am I so distracted? (how much time do you have?) Oh yeah I remember, the reason I have not been able to just start for weeks now…week 7 of the ongoing kitchen remodel. Since I just started to work again, I am going to just start retraining my focus and think about the free space in my brain once the kitchen is finito. After all we are closer to the finish line than the just start line on that project.