Slow Multitasking Notes
I recently learned something new about slow multitasking. I always thought multitasking meant that you have ten arms and legs and you are doing ten things as fast as you can to hurry through the day. I listen to a program on NPR called the Hidden Brain. It is basically about how we think and function. I find it fascinating. Recently, the program was about how we can multitask in a slow and thoughtful way. It used examples from famous scientists and mathematicians and how they worked out complex problems by resting from one project and taking on others for a bit of time in between. I did not know that Einstein invented the laser while he was working on the theory of relativity. He wanted to rest his mind for a bit.
This makes complete sense to me after some thought. We are all rushing around trying to multitask in the wrong way.
Using slow multitasking as a diversion from big problems lets our brains rest a bit.
For artists this means switching around mediums, doing tiny and large paintings, reevaluating events and their value to career, and marketing efforts, along with all the other multitasks we do in our personal lives. Instead of fretting about our limited time and resources, we can change the attitude and use them as rest stops along the route of our lives. I want to consider this possibility for a while.
One of the slow multitasks I want to get back to is my summer fun of start paintings. This is a fine way to do slow multitasking. There is a feeling of anticipation with this process. I start a painting five days a week, one each day, and set them aside one by one. I line them up in order. The next week I start one each day and go back to the first set, working a bit on each one and repeat. It is so interesting. You would think they all get done in the same order, but instead it is a randomness of finishing, as some go quickly due to luck, subject, difficulty, etc. This is multitasking at its finest for an artist in my view. I always use the same sized canvases to get the same sort of feel for the project. Sometimes it goes for a couple of weeks and other times it can go on for the summer, depending on how many projects I might have, commissions, and so forth.
This year I am adding to the fun by doing the paintings with a single half inch brush. It is a skill building method. If you can do a decent painting with one half inch brush, think what is possible with a full array of brushes and palette knives!
I have a new attitude now about slow multitasking. It will be more about thoughtfulness and less about harried stress with too many things to do.
More musings for artists and collectors to come….
Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup julienne-cut, sun-dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, coarsely chopped
6 slices cooked bacon, finely chopped
1 lb boneless chicken
1 tablespoon smoked (or regular) paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup diced yellow onions
8 oz bowtie (farfalle) pasta
1 cup half-and-half
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Bring water to boil for pasta. Chop garlic, tomatoes (reserve 2 tablespoons oil), basil, and bacon. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces; coat with paprika.
Preheat large, nonstick sauté pan on medium 1–2 minutes. Place 2 tablespoons reserved oil in pan, then add garlic and crushed red pepper, chicken; cook 1–2 minutes, stirring often, or until garlic is golden. Stir in onions, bacon, and tomatoes; cook 3–4 minutes or until onions are tender. Remove pan from heat.
Cook pasta following package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta.
Return tomato mixture to heat on low. Stir half-and-half into tomato mixture; cook 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until reduced by about one-half. Add basil, cheese, pasta, and chicken; simmer 2–3 minutes, stirring often, or until mixture thickens and chicken is hot (use reserved pasta water to thin sauce, if needed). Serve.