14 February 2007

Rethinking the Balance

I think it's all the stress of late because I never could really get going. And I'm sleepy already at 6pm.

So, I took most of the day off and finally installed the CD-burner software. Then I burned a couple of CDs with photos of my artwork and, of course, I crashed my computer. Nothing major -- just some warning about the system being unstable. Maybe it has something to do with my system barely being enough to run the software?!

I did work a bit on a dog portrait and a small still life of a gourd. Both are coming along well, and I hope to have them done by Friday. I really will be glad when I get these portraits done, so I can take a break from them for a while. I want to get back sculpting but as long as I have these commissions, I don't feel like I should take the time to pound on a rock!

Then again, maybe I should. There's a book, Coaching the Artist Within by Eric Maisel, which I've been reading. While some of tiredness is physical (the neighbor's dogs barking most of the night doesn't help my sleep at all!), most of it is mental/emotional. According to Maisel, one reason for this lack of energy is a lack of passion and belief that what I'm doing is meaningful. I will admit that I don't see art as very important, but I guess that my art does move people, so okay, it's meaningful. (Yep, I'm trying to convince myself!)

As for the passion, that has kind of been lost in most part. I think it has to do with my focus on making this a profitable business. It's widely accepted and partially true that pieces which an artist finds meaningful often are not commercially successful. If an artist wants to pay the bills, then the choice is a day job or doing saleable artwork. When the saleable artwork is the only thing I do, then I get to feel empty and tired. And since I don't 'allow' myself to do the sculpture or paintings are meaningful to me, I don't recharge my spirit.

Now the problem is balance the needs of portrait commissions and work for eBay against sculpture and paintings for me. Afterall, there is only so many hours in the day and I literally have to do everything by myself around the house. I thought I had this balance figured out, but the business side seems to have taken over again, so I have to rethink the situation.

And while I'm thinking, I'm going to go make supper and then watch a DVD tonight with my cats. (They get a yummy Valentine's Day treat -- raw liver. Yum.)

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