Suppressing CHAOS through database creation
I don’t know how other people keep track of their computer files and folders, but mine were/are definitely OUT OF CONTROL. When you get to the point where you don’t know what you have, and can’t find what you do know you have, it’s time to make databases. That is my strategy and present pursuit, which will serve writing for Silverspring Studio, as well as the Kemshall City and Guilds course I am taking (I will post more about that later). In the meantime, I am building fields and value lists, so that my photos, drawings, ideas, and inspirations can be put into readily searchable form. That is, at least, the optimistic theory that I have chosen to chase. The most dangerous trap, of course, is to expend inordinate amounts of energy organizing art supplies, information, and performing other artistic rites–while leaving little time for the actual act of creation. I try to outmaneuver this snare by ignoring household chores, but am cleverly ambushed again by chaos, maddeningly morphed to another area of my life. How many permutations will chaos perform before I simply admit that I will never have any control, not really, and expecting to grasp it is like believing exercise will restore my teenage suppleness. It sounds like I am in the grip, here, of an infinite-loop motif. Perhaps it would be appropriate to break into song: “There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza . . .” but that endless ditty would definitely consume far too much precious time.
Tuesday morning I received my biweekly “Painter’s Keys” letter from Robert Genn. Part of what he had to say dovetails quite nicely with my comments above:
There was this chap [in art school] . . . who spent all of his time cleaning and getting ready. He’d even clean stuff before he was going to paint–and then he wouldn’t paint. He never really did. After a semester or two he got kicked out and went into dentistry. He sold me a lot of his stuff before he vacated his apartment–it was like a well-equipped art store, labels facing out and everything. I used his wonderful big sables, goat-hairs and quills for about five years. I still have two or three. I’m sorry–brush cleaning can be just another avoidance activity. I figure the sooner I get the brush in my hand, the better. Coming and going from my easel, I pick one up and drop it down hundreds of times a day. It’s a sacrifice, I know, but I feel I’m a painter, not a cleaner.
Too funny. But creating databases is NOT avoidance activity, uh-uh, no way, forget about it.