Is overworking things a challenge for you, too?
This is where painting comes in
Moving quickly (and stopping) short-circuited my brain
By the end of the second painting, I was beginning to relax a bit. I got up and walked around. I watched the other students. I checked out the paintings on the wall. And I was amazed with what I found out about my painting . . . and how it relates to the rest of my life:
1. I didn’t have time to be compulsive about my work. I didn’t have time to overwork my painting. That fact alone felt very liberating!
2. Some of my quick decisions were actually pretty good. Not all of them, but most of them, when I looked closely. And by not overworking, I could easily see what needed to be left alone as well as what, perhaps, could be done better. But it was the “what needed to be left alone” that surprised me. How many of those opportunities had I smothered in the past by compulsively railroading through them?
3. Other people don’t feel the need to overpower things like I do. Since I work alone, I don’t often get the opportunity to observe how other people work. And even when I owned my design firm, I had my own office, so I didn’t hang over people and watch whether they agonized over their work like I do. But my sense is that most people don’t, and certainly the artists in this painting class didn’t. They painted with joy and abandon. If they made a mistake, they moved on. They painted and were happy or not, but didn’t obsess or wrestle their paintings to the ground. Is it possible, perhaps, that I could work this way too? Could I approach my painting with joy and abandon?
Being compulsive is a part of having ADHD
Painting is a way for me to see how to stop before I get too compulsive
Stop. Back up. Ask, “is there anything that needs to be left alone?”
By taking the time to stand back and ask myself if I should leave well enough alone in my painting, my work, and my life, I can often keep a lid on my compulsiveness. I’m not saying it’s easy, but my paintings give me visual cues that help.
The above is one of my recent paintings, but it isn’t one of the four paintings I did in three hours in my recent class!