My mind works like a to-do list. At some point in the morning, I begin thinking about what I would like to do each day, and if I am fortunate enough to have the time, I begin at the top and work my way down until I’ve completed everything I set out to do. It’s linear, but it's not always a conscious effort, and setting time aside to paint usually means having to wait until my list is complete, or postponing some of the things of lesser importance. And then there are some things that were not chosen by me. My wife could tell you something about that. If she asks me to do something in the middle of the day, it throws me off and puts a temporary hold on whatever it was I was going to do next. Getting back to my list can be hard at that point, because I forget where I was, and what I had intended to do. Some things never get done.
There is a certain peace involved in painting that doesn’t require a list of things to do; it just comes with the process, and leads me to a state of mind where lists are not important. I mix a few paints, set up a canvas, and begin. The rest of the time is spent watching the work unfold as if it had nothing to do with me. The term “peace and prosperity” comes to mind when I am done; peace from the process, with prosperity being my reward. People usually associate prosperity with money, but the Latin term also means “fortunate,” and although painting never appears on my to-do list, mentally or otherwise, it is something I always feel very fortunate to be able to do; after the kitty litter, the dishes, the laundry….