Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Wanting to do so much . . .

I have so many ideas in my head that I end up completely overwhelmed into inaction. I tell myself it’s better to have too many ideas than not enough, but sometimes I wonder.

Here's what I want to do:

I want to make more physical collages. I want to create a series of photomontages. To make artist books. To make photo books. I want to play with image transfers. To make artistic wall hangings. I want to re-start my photo-a-day project. I want to create more faux postcards.

I want to create an online class in contemplative photography. To create painterly photographs using various paint programs. To work more with black and white. I want to create e-books. I want a Gelli plate. I want to paint more. To make bowls made of paper. To paint pumpkins and photograph them.

I want to do a blog post listing all the creative ideas I come up with in a week. I want to do more long-exposure photography. I need to clean my cameras’ sensors. I need a rigger brush. I need to do more with antique keys — I have a whole jar of the damned things. I want to create a series of mini-collages. I’ve done three so far . . .

See what I mean? I feel like woodpeckers are pounding on my head. All. The. Time.

The result is that I’m excited and enthusiastic about doing all this stuff, but where to begin? I end up sitting on the couch with my iPad looking at Pinterest and other people’s blogs about what THEY are doing, which gets me all stoked up, but then depressed that I have all this talent and I’m not creating very much.

So then I read a blog post by Leo Babauta, who has a blog called “zenhabits.” Here’s a link to the post: http://zenhabits.net/act/

He suggests telling someone I’m going to do something. Then carve out time to do it, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. He recommends starting small. Then really commit — post your intention on your blog, on Facebook, on Twitter. Tell 100 people about it.

So, here’s my plan: Concentrate on one thing: collage. Spend at least 30 minutes a day working on physical collages. Thirty minutes is easy. (I did two hours this morning and thought it was just one hour.) I have the papers. I have the substrates. I have the tools.

I would love to make a series of 50 collages, each 4-3/4 x 4-3/4 inches square. By working small and by working on perhaps five at a time, I will eventually teach myself how to use this medium.

By committing 30 minutes (or more, if I feel like it) daily, I will become more familiar with the materials I have, how to manipulate them, how to affix them, and how to quickly come up with and execute a composition.

And at the end of this project? Well, I will have created a lot of images to upload to Fine Art America. I might have enough to create a self-published book. Maybe an e-book. Maybe I can sell the collages.

And I will have photographed the collages in various states of unfinished-ness so that I can put them into the computer where I can add, change, transmogrify, and otherwise alter them to create even more salable images. The image I posted the other day — “Bayshore Sunset” — is the result of one of those physical collages that I photographed and then altered in Photoshop. Here’s the link: http://carolleigh.blogspot.com/2014/06/latest-work-bayshore-sunset.html

So that’s the plan, Stan. I’m announcing it here in my blog and will also post it in my oh-so-forgiving alumni group. There. I’ve got my 100 people covered.

©Carol Leigh


  1. Pick up the bus Gus....So wonderful to hear the list of things you want to do....you sent it out...now see what happens... I'm gearing for a series myself...not sure what but got the substrates and well the rest will come...I'm ready as you are...for the fun of it see what happens is always my motive...

  2. Just do it! (my favourite expression at the moment) I often think that you've been reading my mind, so much of how you feel is part of my own experience. So much to do, so little time.

  3. Well, this morning, Laura, I have two similar collages made but they are in "rough draft" form. I have an idea for a third one that will fit in with the other two, giving me the opportunity to not only upload three new works to Fine Art America, but to also combine the three into a triptych. Hoo ha! Fun stuff.

  4. Jo, definitely "so much to do, so little time." It's kind of scary. Why didn't I start all this "not photography" art YEARS ago? Because you can't do everything all the time, I guess. Anyway, glad to hear you're a kindred spirit out there. Thanks for being a little part of my life.


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