Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Tortoise and The Hare

I get bored easily…sometimes too easily.

I haven’t held the same job for more than five years. No matter how much I love a company (or hate it), in time I am restless or I just jaded with the work. It’s always time to move on.

I joined a gym once. I tried using the weights or the cardio equipment, but found that the 45 minutes I’d work out would then be reduced to 30…and then 20...then 15. I’d honestly spend more time changing than I would working out. That got me excited about the classes, but interest waned there too.

We started swimming last February. I don’t think we’ve been to the pool since October.

A few years ago, I was a big reader. I also had a workbench in the basement where I’d build things. eBay was a great distraction for years. Then Craigslist. All are things that have gone by the wayside

We are like that cartoon of The Tortoise and The Hare; Larry is slow and steady. I am Ricochet Rabbit… I just bounce from one thing to another.

My latest ‘give up’ has been church. About 18 months ago, I felt the need to go back to church. I had been raised Catholic, but that wasn’t a good fit. In 2005, I joined a Christian church with a younger congregation. The pastor was 35 and it just fit with what I needed then. They sang modern songs at worship and the messages were timely and uplifting.

But all good things must come to an end. While I love that church and will always feel like it’s ‘my church’, I just need something else; something that occupies my time and efforts for the next 6-18 months until I move on again.

Enter painting.

Around 1995-96, I got on a painting kick. Larry & I had been to Monterrey and stopped in gallery that features blue dogs. I won't mention the artist for fear that Google will lead them here, but I was amazed that a simple dog picture could cost so much. We saw a 2 dimensional version cut from wood. It was $3700. I looked at Larry and said, "I can make one of those for $75."

So I did.

I made a few other pieces as well. I found that I wasn't good at creating my own original pieces, but I really enjoyed the challenge of copying others. Since I just made them for me, I didn't feel there was a huge copyright problem. I'll never sell them and frankly, I get too bored to continue. I did three different paintings before I got burned out.

But last month, the church thing disappeared and I found an renewed interest in painting. My good friend, Jill is a painter; the real kind. You know, the kind that sits on a folding lawn chair under a tent and sells her stuff.

She'd been a painting slump and needed some renewed interest in getting back in the habit of generating pieces. I was looking for a new hobby. Peanut butter meets we decided to have a painting party. She pumped out four pieces in 4 hours; I concentrated on one.

I'd seen an artist online who I really liked. Rather than copy it exactly, I used it to inspire an idea and took it from there. It's amazing in a 4 hour time span how you can hate your work, then love it, then hate it again. It's certainly not an award winner, but overall, I'm pleased I could do this good a job after 10 years of not holding a brush in my hands.

So I have a new hobby... for now. In this latest change, I'm learning a lot how my psyche works and what keeps me grounded. I used to lament over my inability to stick to things. Now I'm understanding that the variety is what I need to keep me going.

This is the gay man in me, but look at how well it goes with the dining room drapes.

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Blogger Kelly O said...

My friends and I used to have painting parties. One of my favorite subjects was portraits of our pets in the "big sad eye" genre. They all turned out really well, if I do say so myself.

Hmm, I do have a new dog....

2:25 PM  
Blogger Bacchus said...

So I'm not the only person who lives that way. You have me beat on the jobs though. My peak is 3 years.

You're right it does go with the drapes.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

It looks fantastic in that room! And the quickly bored, always looking for new challenges - I can totally relate! This is why we get along so well!

11:16 AM  
Blogger Whit said...

You said you have a gay man in you (sorry, I'm 12).

BTW, ping-ting-ping (I love) Ricochet Rabbit.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Mark D said...

Okay ... I'm late here but noticed the Blue Dog paintings.

My parents have two prints -- signed and numbered. Paid about $400 for each and now worth about $5K.

My sister and I are gonna have a helluva fight over who gets them in the will ...


12:16 AM  
Blogger IFLYG said...

Very cool, man. I've been thinking about starting to paint again (it's been years & years)...and thinking about it...and thinking about it...

I should just pick up a brush already.

8:00 AM  

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