One of the biggest impediments I have to getting any painting done at home in the evening is the TV. I find any background noise distracting and even rubbish TV (meaning 99% of the stuff that is aired) has a magnetic draw to it that pulls me away from the painting desk and leaves me wondering where the evening has gone. I find it impossible to read or paint when the TV is on unless I listen to music on headphones and sit with my back to the screen.
Apparently the problem stems from the fact that our brains are wired for distraction (so much for intelligent
design!). We are inquisitive creatures and even when apparently doing nothing our brains are processing information, getting all introspective and hunting for stimuli. The ability to concentrate actually uses a lot of energy and repeated changes of focus over the course of the day really can leave the desk bound worker as tired as the guy that's been on a building site all day. So by the time the evening comes along finding the energy to maintain focus and ignore distractions is about as hard as it gets.
My solution is to block out the unwanted stimuli, either by removing the distraction or removing myself from its influence. So I listen to my iPod while I paint and sit where I can't see the TV, but another perfectly valid solution might be to take my painting to another part of the house or down the shed. The only problem I have with the latter solution is it does seem a bit antisocial not being in the room with my family of an evening and my shed has no roof so it might get a bit damp (especially during the very wet drought we are having here in the UK!).
Of course the other option would be to get rid of the TV....hmmmm now that's an intriguing idea.
...or do what I do and paint at work...no distractions only fecking Ray whining!ReplyDelete
I've been taking stuff into work, if only to keep some forward momentum going. I've got a lot done in the last couple of months that way. I just hate wasting the evening, but that's what happens if I don't shove my earphones in quick enough.Delete
I know that feeling Lee. I feel anti social by even painting in the same room as the wife! I would gladly live life without the TV even though my Mrs would probably have a breakdown. If I have to sit through one more 'reality talent quiz bollocks' show I may put my foot through the feckin' screen.ReplyDelete
Fortunately neither my wife nor my daughters are interested in 'reality tv' shows, soaps or so called 'talent' contests so I guess I'm lucky. That eliminates 80% of the rubbish on TV. But even when they are watching a cookery programmes (which holds absolutely no interest for me) I get distracted. Its like being on the edge of a conversation, but you won't know if its interesting or not until you give it your full attention.Delete
Oh, don't start me on cookery programmes....... or 'I'm a fat, greedy, git please feel sorry for me' programmes .... Oooh, I hate TV! it simply rots the brain and drains your will to live.Delete
Should you end up binning the television, I can offer that you'll be surprised how little you actually miss it... and how much more you get accomplished in the evenings.ReplyDelete
I tend to run the anti-social route at the moment and paint in a separate room altogether.. but its for the best as the wife loves the reality shows.. and I usually only paint when the little guy is sleeping.. Good luck with finding a solution to this problem..ReplyDelete
That's why we never watch TV during evenings ;)ReplyDelete
Don't get me wrong, sometimes I just want to 'veg' with some pre-recorded programmes. But when I'm not dog tired and have jobs to do I'd much rather use my time constructively.ReplyDelete
Similar problem here. TV is a distraction, but leaving is anti-social. I generally hang out in the same room, listening to podcasts or audio books while my wife watches her shows.ReplyDelete
I've never had this problem, if anything the reverse, as I sit down to watch a documentary or film and if it isn't completely enthralling within the first 5 or 10 minutes I'll end up dragging the (highly compact) painting board over and doing some tinkering instead.ReplyDelete
Saw a doco that had experiments on lack of stimuli. I am talking about isolation as a way to torture or punish people. The human brain is amazing and it will invent stimuli to fill the boredom. Visual hallucination, audio hallucination, and even sensory hallucinations. Freaky stuff. But yep, TV is very distracting.ReplyDelete
Strange I have just packed away what was supposed to be a tempery painting table. It is to be dragged out when a film is on I am part interested in and left folded when I am 100% interested in the TV (Homelands and Walking Dead) but as compensation I have now set up a desk full time in the next room. It is a bit anti-social but I am around the wife all day and tend to paint when the kids are in bed or school so no real issue for me.ReplyDelete
I've developed that Homer Simpson ability, just to block out any noise, kids, Mrs whining and shit TV, and then I happily paint away till my hearts content!!ReplyDelete
Before I had a studio for painting, years ago I used to paint on the kitchen table, which was in eye shot of the living room TV. But unless I was actively interested in the show, it wouldn't bother me. I actually find I can paint longer if I have extra stimuli- I listen to podcasts and audio books, that way i have the added stimuli my mind wants without tempting my eyes away from the project. that won't work if it's family watching TV, and I guess having headphones on isn't really any more social than not being in the room. There may be no easy solution for you, just a hard effort of training your eyes not to get distracted even if your brain is.ReplyDelete
You're right. I get back from work...loads to paint but the old goggle box is much easier to relax in front of.ReplyDelete
I do the sit with back to telly while the wife watches bad sad reality tv or some such and everybody's happy. It's when I'm on the computer that see thinks I'm being anti-social! It can be a bad distraction though as if I hear something that catches my attention....ReplyDelete
Like Evil Edna BTW, Will O the Wisp, now that's what I call tea time telly!
I got rid of the TV a few years ago. I had enough of funding the BBC celebs and also the political anti-British bias the Beeb had adopted (It earned it's nickname 'Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation' fully back then). With not paying a TV licence I now look at it as £150 extra in the wargaming budget each year - that's quite a few extra really nice units!ReplyDelete
I do need a bit of radio music though generally to aid the painting process. Classic FM used to make me feel extra tired, relaxing as it was. It's Planet Rock now...the painting hours have increased! :-)
I can't paint with the TV on either. I am lucky to have a study and I paint there listening to music or radio comedy on my iphone. I limit this to 30-60 minutes to not be too antisocial.ReplyDelete
One other thing to remember, but easier said than done, is that just because you have put the TV on, there is nothing to stop you switching it off for an hour or so. I think we often just leave it churning cr*p in our direction and stopping us doing anything useful.