Monday, May 15, 2006

Fine Art 101

Art is often in the eye of the beholder. Some have likened Picasso's work to that of a 2-year old. I have a 2-year old and he does nothing like that. Others find harmony, talent, or even themselves in paintings that have nothing more than polka dots. One of my favorite art moments was when my friends and I went to the LACMA. One of the paintings captured my attention- I quite liked it. Two men were seperated by a bridge and seemed to be holding strings that built the bridge itself. I interpreted it as a simplistic view of how friendships are designed and endure.

As I showed my friends it wasn't until one of them noticed that the bridge was actually not made up of string- but out of semen coming from each man's penis. I had not been observant enough to see that each man was naked or that the 'string' was something a little more personal to each one. Needless to say my friends did not like the picture as much as I did.

Art has always been subjective. Those of you who know anything of art (and I know very little) have heard that most painters were not recognized in their time. One of my favorite reads, Girl With The Pearl Earring, told of Vermeer's life painting what he could for money soley for his large family to live on. Often painting subjects he would rather have not, rushing projects to meet client deadlines, or selling pieces of furniture for new paint supplies.

So I realize that the art that I am focused on today- one piece of art in my life lesson- is just as subjective. In fact I'd venture to say that those living in my house even have completely different perspectives. However I have decided that proscratination is a Fine Art. It is one that is studied- even if self-consiously, one that is finely honed, and one that is viewed differently depending on the artist, the subject, and the style used.

Granted as I sit typing this blog while my children eat dinner I too am honing my art. By the end of the night I may have just elevated myself to Fine Art 201. I could be eating dinner myself. Or washing the dishes that have accumulated since breakfast (hate having no dishwasher). There are DC plans to be made. School work to do. Playing with children who could always use the attention.

And yet here I sit.

What is it about procrastination that captures us all? It seems like such a stupid thing to do when it makes our life so much harder once we get moving towards whatever path we should have been on in the first place.

For example, if I were to wash the dishes, instead of writing this riveting blog, then when bedtime rolls around for the boys, rather than having to wash the dishes then after giving two baths, changing two diapers, and getting two bouncy-boys settled- I could sit down and write this blog. Or I could work on the ever growing list I create for myself.

What is hard for me is that procrastination is one of the traits that I hate most in other people- especially those peoplw who directly effect my life. Yet it seems that if I am qualified to teach classes on the Fine Art of it- why should I not expect differently in others.

If I think my life would be better if so-and-so did ______. Wouldn't he/she be just as thrilled if I did _____ instead of whatever else I might be doing? In fact, maybe if I just blame everything on the people who are doing _____ which isn't allowing me to do ____ then I won't be procratinating anymore.

Nope. No more procrastinating for me! Then I'd just be in the victim mentality.

So what do I do? Obviously in the last fifteen minutes that it has taken me to get this far in my blog I have not made the decision to get up and do something. Oh no. That would be admitting my art work IS worth more in this lifetime than after I am dead. And I'm hoping that my family and posterity live off of my future trust fund based off of this amazing talent I have.

Instead I turn to- my trusty friend- the internet. And guess what I learn? There are bad and GOOD types of procrastination. Specifically Paul Graham lables good procrastination as doing anything that is more important first than the task you might have originally planned to do.

Again I think subjectivity comes into play. Now instead of wondering whether or not I'm horrible for procrastinating I can just label whatever I am doing as GOOD and whatever everyone else is doing as BAD. Perfect.

Problem ---> Solution. That's my kind of day.

And on that note- with the boys both finished with dinner it seems fitting to...


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