Do your ideas control you, or do you control your ideas?
I’m surprised by my new-found need to purge. No, not that kind of purge. I’m talking about decluttering my home and my studio (which are in reality one and the same). I'm surprised at this because I've never been a hoarder. Not many clothes in my closet, not much in the way of knickknacks. Nevertheless, ever since the radiation of my brain tumor last September, I find myself urging my husband to help me rid ourselves of things we don't need, don't use, don't want.
The obvious up-side to this is a cleaner, neater house. The surprise, though, is my cleaner, neater creative process. The ever-growing decrease in visual clutter has led to a mental calm that has allowed me (finally!) to finish projects before taking on new ones. My life-long pattern has been to bounce from one thing to another -- not an ADD issue but rather excitement about creating and ease in multi-tasking. Generally not a problem, but often I'd prematurely abandon a potentially successful painting while I moved on to something else.
The result? Glad you asked. I’ve finished updating my art inventory. The sweater I started knitting 18 months ago is finished, blocked, and stored for winter. And most importantly -- at least to me -- I’m close to completion on a large watercolor which looks like it’ll cap out at 70+ hours.
I would not have believed anyone who might have told me a year ago that I’d accomplish more if I emptied drawers, shelves, and closets. Could it be that in doing so, I’ve also emptied my brain of needless to-do lists? While I’m not sure of the cause-and-effect relationships here, I now absolutely believe that “do more with less” is more than a cliche.