"In my experience a painting is not made with colors and paint at all. I don't know what a painting is; who knows what sets off even the desire to paint?" (Philip Guston)
Gearing up to start something... why does this stage make me nervous? It's a good nervous. Maybe I should call it something else. Guston said, and I can't find the quote, that sometimes that's all you have is this nervousness. He was apparently a very nervous person. I can relate. So I'll just be nervous and go with that.
I was going to stretch these canvases on the frames first. I did one, and then I decided it's too pretty and "finished" feeling (even though it's blank). The finished-ness of it adds a sense of pressure to make something finished. Commitment. An unstretched canvas stapled to the wall, on the other hand, allows me room to make a hideous mess, and if it's a bad hideous mess (as opposed to a good one), I can rip it down and start over. Mind games.