The Woodward Way

Kes Woodward rolls up his portrait of me Tuesday morning prior to my carrying it very carefully home in a FedEx tube from La Conner. The painting is now at the framer’s, and by the end of next week will adorn the wall of our living room in Denver. In a posting on his blog yesterday, Kes made a comment which intrigues me as a guide to my own work. “I never seem to know what I’ll work on next until I find myself doing it,” he wrote, describing his spontaneous decision to work on the portrait. The key to this credo’s effectiveness in Kes’s career is that he works A LOT. He arrives at his studio overlooking the Swinomish Channel each morning with the precision of a banker. He begins work immediately on SOMETHING, and he keeps painting all day, except for phone call interruptions, which he answers as if he has all the time in the world.

I like the Woodward way of diving into work without elaborate planning. My own work is often burdened by the belief that some perfect plan of work exists, but that I’ve missed it. This leads to a gnawing sense that, whatever I’m working on, I should be doing something else. For example, right now I should be working on my Wazee nonfiction piece instead of this blog posting. Well, maybe not. Maybe it won’t be time to work on the Wazee project until I find myself doing it. What a concept!

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