There is nothing in me that is willing to remain in one place for any length of time. I simply cannot stay still. My feet and legs, my hands, my mind, my attention span, everything wants to get up and go. Go where? It doesn't matter, anywhere but here.
Sitting in front of the TV, my fingers are constantly strumming on the arms of the chair where they have actually worn off the finish.
While sitting at the kitchen counter my feet and legs are bouncing on the footrest. Each of these activities creates just enough noise to drive my dear wife crazy.
But I'm at my very best when I'm alone on the phone. In the kitchen I will walk around the center island continuously without stopping for the entire call. In the studio I pace up and down the length of the studio-gallery. I don't know why I do this; it is entirely unconscious. I'm inclined to believe it is related to some pre-natal event in my mother's life.
I like to read. There are piles of books with bookmarks protruding from them all around our home: in my study, in the studio, on tables by my reading chairs, and at the bedside.
There has to be, because I rarely read more than 5 or 6 pages at any one time. If I'm reading a mystery/thriller as soon as something critical or dangerous is about to happen I close the book and pick up another one. Later I will return to the first book and continue reading, only to repeat the cycle again and again.
Life in the studio is no different. I am constantly moving from one activity to another, painting, writing, reading, listening to music, and napping, moving from one to the other every 20-30 minutes.
Did I mention napping?
With the exception of small sketches and watercolors, I rarely complete a painting from start to finish in one sitting.
I work on them one small stage at a time, taking frequent, totally unnecessary breaks, usually to spend another brief period of time on a book or two that I'm reading.
For this reason I like to have more than one piece of work in progress, frequently in different mediums. That way when I move from one to the other I can feel productive and ambitious and not neurotic and spastic.
Of course this makes for a rather schizophrenic studio, with workstations constantly evolving and shifting in an attempt to keep up with me. To accomplish this I've turned to rolling carts. I now have four of them, each holding different mediums and supplies, and easily moved about to accommodate my restlessness.
My wife thinks I need to be more active, but she is unaware of the full helter skelter nature of my day.
Between this and my forgetfulness -- endless trips up and down the stairs for whatever I've forgotten -- I get a reasonable amount of exercise every day.
I would love to finish this now but I gotta go…really.