I was confessing in the previous post about how much I’ve neglected painting of late.  My attention has been fixed upon other things, and not only have I not been painting, I have not wanted to paint.  I “intend” to work, but don’t.  Little distractions lead me astray. 

I was thinking about it today — about the things that trigger for me a desire to paint.  For me, it’s color.  Even just thoughts about certain color combinations can make me want to paint — though I haven’t tried very hard to use these thoughts to get myself back to work. 

Part of the problem is perhaps about responsibility.  I do believe that being responsible is a central component of one’s character, a core virtue that one wants to possess.  Yes, I do aspire to being a responsible person.  But I have to admit that “responsibility” doesn’t paint pictures.  Sometimes I have done my best painting when I was “goofing off” with an idea.  Sometimes my most productive times have felt more like play than work — good enough to make one feel guilty about the exuberance.

In this unproductive phase, I’m wondering to myself if in order to be more “responsible” in the making of pictures, maybe I need to be more irresponsible.  Perhaps I need a strong dose of play.  Perhaps I am too diligent.  Could I be lacking in a certain kind of essential laziness?  Am I too uptight?    Perhaps the flowers will matter most when they become “just flowers,”  beautiful and useless and transitory like real flowers.  Just simple flowers.

7 thoughts on “In Defense of Laziness

  1. I’ve been having exactly the same conundrum lately. Should be writing more but ‘should’ actually takes away all the desire and play is such an important part of it but nothing is happening naturally and I should be writing more and aragaragara, have another beer and go and play World OF Warcraft. I am trying to open up the word channel a bit hence long and waffley comment, sorry. But yes there is a bit of this going around, creativity batteries at low ebb, perhaps it is something to do with the alignment of the moon and stars.

  2. Paul,

    What a wise and astronomical observation. I had not considered the possible effects of the surrounding cosmos. I should take a look at the stars since their alignment interrupts my creative schedule. They deserve their due.

    Wow. You’ve got different stars — Australian stars and planets — and still the same problem!


  3. I like the italian word and concept of “farniente”. In french it is often translated as “sieste”(nap) but it is more than that.
    C’est un art de vivre.
    I see in it parallels with zen principles or what I think of zen principles…do nothing, contemplate your thoughts passing by, breathe calmly.
    The main difference is that in the farniente you are allowed and even encouraged to have a glass of chianti,and you do not feel guilty.

    Winter is always a hard time for me, snow, cold, more snow etc…and make me dream of sunny countries,but reading Paul I see that weather has nothing to do with it.

    Alors, bon farniente

  4. If you are not having some fun, you won’t stick with painting long. Cute little doll. Did you draw the horses from life. That is fun although I prefer the shapes of cows.

  5. Bill, that doll looks just like I looked. But I’m feeling more chipper now (I think). I did not draw the horses from life. I have drawn animals from life sometimes in the past (especially the household pets when we had some). But the horses I used are toys actually. Asking me if they’re from life, however, really makes my day! AK

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