Last night I went to bed about midnight, then proceeded to toss and turn till about 4. Could have been painting instead. I have one week to finish this painting... it is a self-imposed deadline. Next week, I embark on a week long painting delivery roadtrip, and this painting will be in the car, bound for Miami.
I remember being an undergraduate, and all the rules we absorbed.... we were trying to learn not only how to make art, but what beliefs we needed to hold to be considered "serious artists". Half of these rules have gone out the window with the current widely-accepted careerism, like "while you are in school, don't be thinking about how to get into a gallery, get a University Teaching job, or write a grant... concentrate on the work."
The rule I am thinking of is, "don't paint for a show." In theory, I agree with this: knowledge of an impending show should never influence content or technique, there should never be any compromises in the work under any circumstances. But since the beginning of my artmaking career, I have dreamed of unlimited time to create my work, and I have finished MAYBE a handful of work under those circumstances. Now I question whether that is the ideal. I once sat down and made of list of the best work I have done, and every single one of them was finished under the duress of an impending show. I wish I had the insomnia under control for good, but when I get close to a show, I am lying awake and obsessing about it anyway, I might as well be painting.