Sunday, October 12, 2014

seeking antidote for information overload

"a river runs through it"  mixed media on canvas  36"x12"

do you ever feel overwhelmed
by the barrage of information
or sheer amount of words,
images upon images,
(even the relevant/beautiful/powerful ones)?

do you struggle
with the weight and worth
of your additions
to the massive pile to sift through
as i do?

self promotion seems to be
a necessity of our craft these days...
yet, even when done humbly and respectfully
it feels a little bit like
pulling a bandaid.
and throwing it in the pile.
doesn't it?

"a river runs through it"  mixed media on canvas  12"x36"

my attempt at a respite:
step 1: unplugging.
a walk through the fields.  playing in the dirt.
picking fresh vegetables.  making a child laugh.
jumping in a bouncy house. sipping my tea slowly.
sitting around the fire with loved ones.
leaving the camera at home.
step 2: simplifying
my own input.
editing the heck out of my thoughts.
ruthlessly cutting out unnecessary words.
really digging
to get to the heart of things.
if i must paint
(and i must),
this is not a joke:
i paint everything white.

i use mostly materials
others would consider trash.
i wash them in white
(paradoxically, covering them in paint
actually reveals their essence to me)
and hesitantly proceed
to add my contribution.
then i feel that even
this entire last paragraph
was perhaps not
entirely necessary.

forgive me.

then i add a few more images,
not even ironically.

and finally i say good night,
without further editing.

"a river runs through it"  detail

would love to hear your strategies for dealing with information overload!  please do share!


  1. my posts have become a sort of shorthand. more images less words.
    ♥♥ this painting.
    self promotion? alas, neither good at it nor interested. people seem to find me.

    1. shorthand is a relief in this sea of information. this seems an appropriate way for blogging to evolve. if your people find you, you must be doing something right. cheers!

  2. Thank you for this striking, emotive post. It is urging me to return to the studio.

    1. how humbling and thrilling! thank you for the encouraging note, michael!

  3. Ugh. Promotion. I'm terrible at it but I'm willing to learn how to do it if I can not be cheesy in the process. I've been unplugged for over a year now and tentatively dipping my toes back in so I'll follow your journey with interest!

    1. even so, you are out there and your work is fantastic. your tribe will follow. i will make sure to check in on your journey as well. thank you for stopping by, suzie!

  4. Hello Anca, I can relate to your words. Yes, promoting our artwork is something that needs-must, yes. But when being anxious and when the talking-to-promote becomes all-consuming, then yes I have to take many steps away too. I go for a long walk, I try to have a day or two off-line. I take a day away, I rediscover favourite poets and authors, listen to music that I would not usually listen to when working, perhaps. Your close-ups here are exquisite, best wishes Cathy.

    1. hello, cathy! i am honored by your visit. i must admit i am a little bit of a fan girl, completely obsessed with your work. now the cat is out of the bag, phew! you are so right: sanity is found off-line. you have piqued my interest. i would love to hear about your favorite poets and authors, and what kind of music you listen to while working. perhaps an idea for a blog post?

  5. Love this and have the perfect friend to share it to, who will also totally feel it. Thanks for these words. xox gem

    1. hello, gem! so glad you connected, and thank you for passing on the word! just stopped by your space. love your spunk and bold work!

  6. oh I feel this post to my core. To be an artist you need to be a promoter, business person, works hop leader, keep inventories, enter exhibits, sell at galleries and make aRt!!!
    sometimes, you need to stop and smell the paint again to remember, remind why you do it all!!

  7. Lovely post. Thank you for writing and sharing your words. How I handle overload - it seems to have been gifted to me through my son. He has severe autism (along with many other disabilities). He is 20 and cannot speak - I have had to learn how to listen through every breath... how you write that you use materials that others take for granted... you spoke to my heart... mine are non-tangible - a glance into my eyes where I can actually see him (he isn't in another world - he is with me for one to three seconds), how wet grass feels on your feet - or on your cheek, a smile (will stay with me for months), he taught me that a dandelion is not a weed - it is the most beautiful flower in the entire world.... if I could only transfer this "non-tangible" into art - maybe I might have a reason to share my work via social media!!!! You are a blog I will now be following!

    1. thank you for sharing about your son, suzanne! what a gift you have been given in him! that non-tangible thing you are talking about will flow in your art. you just have to give it space. show up and get your hands dirty and it will come. thank you for stopping by and sharing of your lovely life!

  8. Wow, I've just spent some time browsing through your blg and my heart and eyes are filled up to the brim. Thanks so much for what I've just seen! Your art is a real inspiration, so soothing, so much full of dream.
    I feel the same about information overload, and have the same number 1 tip : unplug.
    Unlike many american artists, French artists seem to ignore the business side of art. I think I should try and be more business-like, but this is so far from me, who I am, and I feel it is pulling me away from my easel. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and art. This is what art is about for me: sharing.

  9. Yes... I do sometimes feel overwhelmed ... and my remedy like yours, is to unplug... we often take vacations out of country where we are forced to s l o w d o w n...

  10. As much as I agree with you I also know it is a "square circle" problem - internet is a perfect place to find people interested in your art but to do this you have to tell them that you exist. And with the amount of trash in the web, if you tell this just once nobody will notice. So you find yourself screaming "here I am!" more than once or twice. And you feel awful. You waste your time.
    And then the miracle happens - someone talks to you and you know your time wasn't wasted.

    It gets easier with time - when you find those really interested in what you do (and we, artists don't need millions of fans) they just stay and wait patiently for your next accomplishments. So you can scream less and work more. And you're grateful for such a place like web :)

  11. Thank you for this blog. I relate to painting it all white, yet you get such subtle effects with hints of gray, cream, and texture. I feel calmer just looking, reading and enjoying. Absolutely luscious!

  12. Thank you for this blog. I relate to painting it all white, yet you get such subtle effects with hints of gray, cream, and texture. I feel calmer just looking, reading and enjoying. Absolutely luscious!

  13. Seja atual comentar...Adorei A idéia sobre arte comentada.Inspira-me!