Monday, July 26, 2010

Avoidance Therapy

For the past weeks I’ve been whining about not having been able to work in my studio. First it was my road trip to Seattle. That ate up two weeks. I needed a week to settle back into Palm Springs and the following week to prepare for Hawaii. Then 10 days in Hawaii. I even wrote about feeling guilty being in Hawaii and not working on my artwork! Pure procrastination.

We’ve been back from Hawaii for a week now. I still have not got my butt in gear to work. I’ve been telling everyone that I’m beginning a new piece. I haven’t actually DONE anything other than clear my work surface. Something always seems to come up to distract my attention. How convenient!

So, I was floating in the pool yesterday afternoon (because my studio just too damned hot to work in) thinking about all of this. What’s going on here, Jer? I played the whole day Saturday and Sunday when I could have been working in my studio. (I do have an incredibly efficient A/C unit in the studio. I just needed to crank down the temp from 86F.)

My planned piece is of woven newspaper. It will be approximately 4 feet X 6 feet, portrait orientation. It will be vertical stripes similar to “Serape Asado Uno” and “Serape Asado Dos” but with a boarder all around. It’s in my head and just needs to be woven. Should be easy.

And that’s my problem. It’s “easy.” I know exactly how to do it and I know what it should look like. I have all the problems figured out – as much as one can; you always run into a problem of some sort. There’s no challenge in making it.

In retrospect, I’m glad I spent time mulling over my ambivalence while floating in the swimming pool. I could have dived into this weaving instead of the pool. I don’t think I would have had a successful weaving. Now, however, I can do that weaving knowing it’s more of a technical exercise (at this point) rather than a technical challenge. If I begin & complete this work as planned, I can do that consciously knowing what I’m getting into. Or I can redesign the whole thing to be more challenging.

So, I’m now conflicted. Do I go ahead and create this weaving even though it’s not going to be a challenge? Or, do I re-design the whole thing?

It’s getting hot. I think I will float in the pool for a bit… and think.

Oh! I almost forgot the shameless self-promotion bit! Please take a minute to visit my website at and take a stroll through my artwork. All of it is for sale (except for “Icarus” and “Winter Rain”). Please contact me if you want to buy one of my works or if you have any questions about a specific piece. My contact information is on my website and you can leave a comment on this blog site for me to contact you. You can e-mail me at and you can telephone me on my studio phone 760-992-3157: you can call me. I won’t mind).

Thank you for listening,

Jerry L. Hanson


  1. Jerry, Not only is your visual art great, but your blogging as well.

    I am a novice artist and now published author, though my background is physical therapy and interior redesign. Avoidance therapy is a bit of trying to isolate the soul without getting the ego involved. Finding the victory in a masterpiece, without the fight. Your words hit home.
    I have transplanted myself to Austin Texas with no pool. I envy you.
    My suggestion is to gather a group of folks together and everyone do at once, what we have all been avoiding! It might prove to be even more creative and inspiring. Maybe I will go and procrastinate on the idea now! Be well.

  2. dear jerry,

    i love your blog as well, so alive and humanly ;) and procrastination seems to be one of the new power-words of the 21st century.
    i read and hear this word quite often.
    i am just thinking ....
    is it really procrastination?
    sometimes, i believe, it is just the time we maybe need to think something through.
    i got the impression, that we live in such a "fast time" these days, where people often start with something, just to start somehow with something.... isn't it called blind activism? ;)

    myself, a designer of interactive jewelery, with a strong industrial influence, obviously coming of my architectural back ground, i often just sit and think, imagine, sketch in my mind, or on paper, that i do not forget all the ideas which appear suddenly out of the stillness. how it looks from the outside - ME - JUST SITTING AND WATCHING HOLES INTO THE AIR! ;) LOL

    check out this!
    John Cleese on the Origin of Creativity