A moment of Zen

... is something I'm seeking out more frequently lately.

It's true that I work great under pressure. I've always been that way. I may not have liked school very much, but dammit I spent a good 3 days throwing that science project together in 5th grade that came in 1st place at the school's science fair.

This wouldn't necessarily be a problem if I didn't stress out like a nutcase in the time before I decide I ought to get started working on things. I like to take my time to really feel out how risky and dangerous my procrastination is before I'm inevitably struck with the realization that if I don't get moving and keep moving from now until the end, I'll fail. Simple as that. Fear of failure can be very motivating.

I just wish I thought of these things while I still had ample time to finish, so that I could be stress-free AND successful! Alas. Maybe one day.

In the meantime, I've waited just long enough that I'll be spending the next 4 months panicking and working 12 hours a day in order to fulfill my commitments. Also those pesky holidays that I swear seem to happen every single year. Oh, and I'm basically a hospice nurse to my dog right now, which ultimately is one of the most rewarding and depressing things I've ever done in my life. I hate watching him deteriorate, but I'm eternally grateful that I'm able to be here with him and care for him until he decides that he's had enough care and wants to move on to... something else.

Anyway, before I make us all start crying first thing on a Monday afternoon, here's a peek at some new paintings I'm working on:

One is for Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant in Dana Point, and one is for my upcoming show. Both have taken far longer than I anticipated. I'm always trying out new techniques when I don't have time to practice them. Keeps things entertaining for me, I guess. :)

I've started 2 more in addition to these, both for my show. Should be an exciting few months ahead, culminating with my show, and then 5 days later, a trip to Japan.

Maybe I'll find some inner Zen there. Or maybe I'll just run around like a crazy person trying to see, eat, and explore my way through everything I can find. I mean, seriously. It's JAPAN. :oO


Cynthia said...

So understand the tendency to procrastinate and work under pressure that, really, is self-created. I've always been that way with writing projects. But, the up-side is that my office usually is spectacularly organized before I start the writing...because I spend hours organizing instead of writing.

Loving the sneak peek! Happy holidays!

shayla said...

heh! Me too, I'll have a spotless kitchen and laundry done before I start painting, simply because I'm avoiding painting!

Once upon a time I avoided laundry to paint, now that it's my "career" I do the opposite. :oP

Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

I like the texture of these paintings. It lends a richness.

I recently got to nurse the dog. Maybe my reflections will mean something to you: http://galensanford.blogspot.com/2010/07/may-lawns-be-green-and-sun-warm-on-your.html

When you're in Japan, see if you can spend a few days in Kyoto. It should be empty this time of year, and the ancient temples are some of the most likely places I can think of to find zen :)

shayla said...

Hi Galen,

Beautiful blog post on the passing of your dog. I'm definitely going through similar emotions, trying to be present and aware during this period of time, even if it's not pleasant. I feel a bit like I'm in a holding pattern, and I want to just experience everything as fully as I can, while I can. Knowing that the end is near puts me in a very transcendent headspace. I'm remembering our 15 years together, mourning for the future that will be, and trying to remain focused on the time that is.

I feel very sad.

We're actually going to Kyoto for 4 or 5 days, although since it will be during the peak of Cherry Blossoms, it will most certainly be crowded. Either way, I'm pretty sure I can find some Zen in amidst all the festivities. Just being there will surely be enlightening. :)