March 24, 2017

HOW TO TELL IF LESS IS REALLY MORE

Last week feels like it flew by and I got nothing done, but as I sit here I can honestly see how "busy" is such a relative term.

I haven't been in my studio since I moved, making it two whole months I haven't painted, so it means something that I at least prepared for 5 new paintings this week. I also cooked a week's worth of family dinners from scratch, which again might not seem very interesting except that I recently became a vegan, so it makes it more of an accomplishment. I donated a drawing to Planned Parenthood, finalized the Beacon Open Studios catalog, which I've been working on for two months, submitted work for the Dorsky Museum, and applied for twelve full time jobs. Actually thirteen if you count friendly inquiries that don't include cover letters and resumes. Oh, and I learned how to write a cover letter, which I had no clue how to do. I have been self-employed for a long time! Turns out I haven't had a boss since 1998.

Apparently I've been working hard on the less is more approach to life. Take for instance becoming a vegan. I thought it would be close to impossible to eliminate that many food groups and still be satisfied, but what I discovered is that eliminating choices has actually given me more freedom somehow. Limitation creates innovation. When you have less, you can focus more on the things you do have. Less choices populating your brain equals more space to ruminate, or in this case cook tastier meals.

Does that make sense?

Like when the designers for the Ford car company come out and say that the recent automobile regulations are what forced the forward thinking responses that led to their significant technological advancements... you start to think, well, maybe some limitations aren't so bad.

I've been trying to limit my color choices in my painting for years. I just know that limiting my palette will give me more freedom, yet every time I get down to it I start mixing more and more colors, more and more.

So now I'm reconciling this idea of getting a full time job with the hope that less time in my studio will somehow make it more precious and more productive.

not such a great photo of an old painting of mine
I watched a movie the other night, the one with Robert De Niro who plays the trainer for the boxer Roberto Duran. I never would've thought boxing was like painting but it absolutely is. The trainer kept telling the boxer -
It's all in your head. It's all psychological. If the opponent gets inside your head you're dead. It's about strategy and longevity. Stay focused and you win. 
I mean, this is no joke. When Duran walked out of the ring in the middle of the fight with Sugar Ray Leonard, you really understood what a test of willpower it was. Not to be overly dramatic, but it's exactly the same with making art, except that the opponent is you. Actually, the trainer, the fighter, and the opponent... all you.

It's no light thing when you decide to walk out of the ring in the middle of a fight.
Hopefully that's not what I'm about to be doing. This "change is good" motto and trying new things out, well, we soon shall see just how far it takes me!







3 comments:

Summer of '68 said...

Don't tell the job interviews that you haven't had a boss since 1998. Good luck job hunting and you are doing a fabulous job with the open studio. I hope you mention how organized you are.

Samantha Palmeri said...

Thank you Summer of '68 although I'm not sure who this is! Actually I'm thankful to Beacon Arts because I now have a pretty good job description at the top of my resume!

Michael Kriegh said...

I keep trying to whittle down to the essentials. Stuff keeps creeping back in. Then you whittle down again. A cycle. Like spring, summer, fall and winter. Good luck with the job search!