Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Calming Creative Clutter

I Am One Learning New Ways to Relate to Things and the Earth

Created this card today when I got junk mail with the little explorer on the cover. The background is from a 10 cent book from the Westminster Library which features the Berenstain Bears addressing the issue of having a messy bedroom.

This is me, a card carrying "Messy", who has struggled since childhood with managing the things in my playroom, my study room, my bedroom, my car, my studio. My excuses: I'm an artist, a single mom, a teacher with lots of books, art supplies, and stuff I should probably save (lol).

I must admit, though I like a visually interesting living space, I feel better when things are clean and somewhat ordered. Did I mention that I haven't been feeling that great lately? My studio gets straightened at least once a week since people come in for groups--but my bedroom? Yikes! I could spin and weave a huge itchy blanket from all the cat hair on the floor. Cleaning keeps on getting put on my daily to-do list and daily shifted to "tomorrow". Yes, I am going to go vacuum and de-clutter after I post this blog.  Really.

I've been working on applying the "The 60 Second Procrastinator" idea for overcoming the main barrier to getting things done: getting started. Committing oneself to working on a postponed task for 60 second (just 60 seconds!) is the secret. Once started we mostly keep on going. This trick works very well, actually, and great that I fall for it, can depend on falling for it, every time.

But back to the main reason I made this card. I have been doing the Artist's Way "morning pages" for some weeks and it has been helping me to be more committed to including art in my life. Some of the things I've added have been: going to a local art guild meeting monthly, showing art pieces in my first show in years, going to a weekly art group (love the other artists!), finding new artist friends to have coffee and plot with, hosting new special topic (latest: Gelli Plate) workshops, going to an Eco-Art group. Great to list these things because there really has been a profound shift and it has dramatically changed the way I view myself as an artist, and how much art making I accomplish weekly.

The Eco-Art group gave me a sudden brilliant idea: I could recycle my 50 (not sure) boxes of papers into handmade paper!!! That would solve paper clutter and also make me a better world citizen. Plus handmade paper might be a really cool thing for collage. I've done some research about papermaking, found some promising websites for buying supplies  and have found the two kid's papermaking kits I've collected over the years. Hope to get started with shredding that paper mid-month.

My Commitment for May

  • get started with paper shredding and papermaking, thus making my paper trash to treasure
  • attend the messy anon call at least once a week to keep me decluttering 
  • continue with morning pages
  • clean and keep clean bedroom, bath, floors
  • work on art project daily
  • give my artist self (and my messy self) a hug whenever they feel overwhelmed.
Any other messy artists out there? What are your trade secrets for averting avalanches?