Small Works' Science Friday . . . and some advice about feet.

"A man is a poet if the difficulties inherent in his art
provide him with ideas . . ." Paul Valery

I'm not sure whether this qualifies me or kicks me out. Depends on the day. I certainly find plenty of difficulties inherent in my art -- in fact, next time will someone please remind me that pieces which are over 28" long,

while being great fun to look at on the wall, are absolutely beastly to wrangle in the final stages of the process?

But I do find it to be true that while I'm working on stuff
I don't want to be doing
I'm often consumed by ideas for things
I DO want to be making.

It's a little like thinking about baked goods
while you're eating your broccoli.
Of course it only yields results if you do something about it.

Working : Getting Ideas

Eating Donuts : Getting Fat

When I'm not working,
my idea machine seems to stall for some reason.

Which is really rude, because when I am working, I don't have time to act on the great ideas I have. Just a little Friday complaint for whoever is in charge of such things in the Universe.

I actually saw a story on the news last night which reported that "Eating a high fat diet can make you stupid and lazy."

More specifically, that 10 days on a high fat diet decreases your brain function and makes you feel less like exercising.

Seriously? Did someone pay for that study?
They should have just called me.

I could have told them some things about 46 years on a high fat diet.

Anyway, I'm not entirely sure they've got their science exactly right. Because in my own research I have discovered that going
to Santa Fe for a few days

sopaipillas + guacamole = fat

is a great way to jump start my idea generator. This time it was about the third day, in the shower, when the ideas started pouring down with the water and I had to grab a pen and paper to keep up.

One of them is already underway, and springs in part from the lovely Georgia O'Keefe quote I shared with you last week about
"music that makes holes in the sky."

Here's what it looked like in the beginning:

It's progressed a little now, and I'll show it to you again
as it comes along.

A new little song. . .
something to keep me exploring and engaged.

It's such a comforting feeling
when the ol' brain
starts working again.

Because sometimes when I'm slogging away watching Hoss eat pancakes and Little Joe chase girls on my 800th Bonanza rerun (yes, I watch Bonanza while I'm working -- surely that's another post) I fear that I may never have another good idea -- or time to act on one, if it did occur -- as long as I live.

Which causes me to not only stop thinking about future work, but also to stop basking in the love of process that makes me want to make things to begin with.

I guess I need to turn off the TV and remind myself
to "be where my needle is" sometimes.

All week long in Hinckleyville, we've been saying,"last week at this time we were in Santa Fe doing (blank)." Which is dangerous, because we've missed a full week of precious MN summer thinking about why last week was better.

If I were a cartoonist, (bear in mind that my cartoons would be goofy and simple because of my lack of drawing skills) today's would probably look something like this:

Enjoy your weekend,
wherever your feet may be standing.


Allie said...

Amen. To all that. Just....amen.

VO said...

I second that Amen.

Being on vacation this last week, I was sorely lacking in the imagination station. My feet there ----> and my head <----- there.

Today my feet were planted right where I was and it was a huge gift to myself as my vacation rolls nearly to the end.

Pam said...

Showers must be great places to think. How many times has someone said to me "I was thinking in the shower this morning..." and what follows is a brilliant idea or concept.My morning showers just find me standing in a zombie state!

susan m hinckley said...

But you do some pretty good thinking, Pam, so I'd like to know where you do it?

Showers and walking/running are my best thinking times for some reason.

luanne said...

great cartoon -- drawing & message. (how can you think you can't draw???) love the commission piece, particularly the empty chair among all the wonderfully wacky characters. so did you start with a theme/phrase to guide this piece?

wish i knew how to conjure creative inspiration when i need it... but i've learned to write ideas down before they vanish back into the brain haze.

curious as to where you're headed with the bird cut from the sky!

susan m hinckley said...

Okay, LuAnn -- I'll concede that I can draw goofy cartoon feet in high heels on stick legs . . . but don't ask for sneakers.

The piece is a commission for a therapist of some kind and will say, "pull up a chair." I loved the idea.

I, too, am curious about the bird piece. Will it succeed? Who knows. But we'll all find out soon -- it's actually almost finished.

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