DENNIS: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior!
ARTHUR: Well, I AM king...
DENNIS: Oh king, eh, very nice. An' how'd you get that, eh? By exploitin' the workers -- by 'angin' on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic an' social differences in our society!
- from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Scene 2
This is what happens when I clean out the ephemera section of the studio. Bit of paper in heaps and piles, tiny piles of interesting colors, little scraps that ought to be trash. A page of Mayan masks. A quick sketch and some watercolor just for fun. Then obsessive tearing of paper and gluing it down until hours and hours have passed and *poof* there is this crazed, toothy Mayan king and the piles of paper have not really gotten any smaller. Sigh. Eventually, I did whittle it down to a manageable bin-full.
I like to organize. And I confess to doing it to avoid real work. Bills need paying? Organize a drawer. Ironing piling up? Take everything out the closet and spend the rest of the day putting it back. Gutters need cleaning? Categorize your books by subject matter. I see a theme here.
Organizing is also something I can do when I can't paint. If I'm too tired, unmotivated, cranky or whatever to actually make art, I can still get things in tip-top shape for when I am ready once more. Sometimes I will just gesso boards and leave them out to dry, where they will whisper to me on another day. Other times I will purge old drawings and cut them into bits and pieces for collage materials. On a really bad dad, I'll scrape paint off the floor. But to me it all counts as part of the process. It keeps me in the studio, putting in my time, waiting for the muse to stomp in and demand attention.
And now I am off to paint. Or maybe alphabetize my art books.