reworking and balance vs passion

I used to think it was somehow a sin to go back and change (or fix) an artwork that I’d considered “finished”. I seem to have gotten over that. Some of the pieces that stay around for a while, continue to talk to me. This baby has been around for a year or so. I redid the applique. Much better-


And, I decided this fellow needed some more oomph in his hair-


I’ve been pondering the notion of balance (in ones life). Is there any intersection of passion and balance? I don’t think of myself as ever living a balanced life… I get involved in things very intensely. These passions- my artwork, garden design, etc- take over. It is what I think about, dream about, bore everyone around me with… And then there is the question of being passionately involved in ones work versus being a workaholic. That came up at Thanksgiving with my daughter, her roommate (a painter) and me. My reply was that a workaholic is what other people call the person who is passionate about their work. It is that other persons’ way of saying, you are not paying enough attention to me. I have continued to think about it though.

11 thoughts on “reworking and balance vs passion

  1. I’ve had periods in my life where I worked all the time in order to escape other stuff going on in my life. Those periods, I think of as workaholism. These days, however, when the lines between work and play are thoroughly blurred and I’m deeply involved in both, I just tend to think of as lucky.

    I think your characterization is really apt, though – it’s so easy for those who don’t have passionate involvement in something to confer the title of “Workaholic” on those who do.

    Balance? Schmalance!

  2. Well, the distinction I see between being passionately involved with/devoted to your work, and being a workaholic, is the distinction between joy and blind pursuit of a known or subconscious goal. A workaholic, as I see it, is NOT living a life of joy, is not enjoying the long hours spent at work, but is instead doing a kind of grim march toward — more money? — more prestige? — less involvement in the difficult parts of life? — less involvement, in meaningful ways, with other people? Does that make sense?

  3. Whatever it is called I am jealous.

    I read your blog, sharonB’s blog and I see the amount of work, artistic achievement and a love of life which I would love to achieve but somehow can only look in from the side lines. Not that I don’t have periods of working hard but I can never sustain it, I will always be distracted by something or other.

    Anyway, basically, don’t worry about it and just count your blessing, you are not me, looking in.

  4. Most of the world is filled with people who do not have work that they are passionate about and that gives them energy rather than take it away. A lot of times I think, people who are passionate about their work, get compaired unfairly to workaholics who use their work to avoid.

    The beautiful work I see, and the loving details, the careful thought, and the way you engage the world, take it in and apply it to your creations, shows a person who has a joyful and fulfilling focus of how they choose to spend their time on earth.

    I think balance is fluid and changing. If you stay in a constant state of balance, how can you explore the heights and the depths? I think balance is a guideline, and not a permanent place to be. I like to think of it as home base.

    Anyway, I love your work, the joy, the humor, and the exqusite detail.

  5. Do you have a before photo for the baby? :)

    I know one or two workaholics who are not in it for the passion, but the money. I guess you could be passionate about money, but these people are not happy as far as I can see with their working life.

    I’m glad you enjoy yourself, it is wonderful to see what you come up with!

  6. Gosh I can relate to this post. I dislike to do anything unless I can do it with passion. Balance is something so very subjective. From the ‘outside’ I don’t know how I may seem, except always busy and working on the next idea. I know I sometimes feel unsatisfied if I do too much of one thing and other passions are left to one side, not given time. Interesting that you are also a garden designer as gardening and textiles for me have many similarities. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

  7. I think a lot about finding balance, too. I’ve come to the conclusion that balance can never be achieved. I think it is something to continually work towards. Kind of like paying attention. There is no amount of paying attention that will make up for nodding off in a movie. There is no amount of seeking balance that will allow me to declare myself “in balance.”

    I think you are half-right about the workaholic thing. The part I agree with: that the other person is saying, “you aren’t paying enough attention to me.” But I don’t agree it’s always because a person is passionate about their work (although it sometimes is). It might be the case that the person has other motives … like a husband/father that stays at work late every night to avoid the wife and kids, or a woman who is afraid of commitment trying to find an excuse for why she hasn’t met someone yet. Just my two cents. :)

  8. Balance? what’s that?

    I have definitely blamed outside forces for my lack of balance. Passion I have in spades. But Balance? I am bereft. My home suffers first so I often think: I could have balance if I could seperate my craft quarters from my living quarters.. But it is probably just an easy excuse.

    I think that a passionate person loses themselves in the work because of the work… a Workaholic loses themselves to be lost. It is a very handy title to throw at those whom we miss because they are succumbing to passion… for whatever reason.

  9. The changes to the baby are wonderful! Definitely not sinful to change things around a bit.

    I’ve noticed that those who preach to me about balance (well, actually it’s not so much preaching as it is they are perplexed over how I can sit and do the same thing-in their eyes-for hours upon hours, day after day) don’t have something that they enjoy to such a degree.

    It makes my husband crazy that I can’t sit and watch a tv show or movie without working on something. He’s always suggesting I take a break and relax. But really, nothing relaxes me more than the rhythm of handwork. It brings to my happy place. :)

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