Thursday, April 22, 2010

The critic

Here's my latest painting, "Exuberance".  I'm happy with it for many reasons.
1. it has meaning to me 2. it's vibrant and different 3. it's working
But just as this was a success my other painting was not.  I started a cupcake painting
from this photo taken on my birthday at Claude's flea market with Sharon.  I loved the colors of the cupcakes on the old rusty paint cans and it started out looking like a good painting. Then it was frustrating me and like all crazy artists I let it really upset me to the point where I painted it all out.  Now that's ok actually, there's a lot of freedom in starting fresh.  But my biggest obstacle in art isn't making it, it's getting past my critic, ME.  Julia Cameron talks about the critic in her book (my bible) The Artist Way.  All artists (and most people) have a critic that tells us we aren't good enough.  I loved reading this because if I let my critic play she will rip my whole business to shreds.  Today I got so
upset I was close to tears.  Here I had done well with a painting and yet I was
punishing myself for what I didn't do.  I was mad that my cupcake painting didn't go as well, and I
then started questioning everything I was doing to the point where I thought I was a total failure.  It doens't even make sense and yet it felt so real.  It was my critic sreaming at me and it was nasty.  Why I'm sharing this is to acknowledge the gift of perservering.  I won't let my critic win, I will keep at it and I will move forward. 
Last year at this time I had just moved into my studio and I was overwhelmed at the talent around me.  The artists in the arsenal are all amazing, most of them are full time artists with shows in galleries, selling their work.  I felt
like I was in kindergarten and not even worthy of
being in the same playground.  But I didn't let it scare me off.  Now here it is almost a year later and I have a store and studio, I am trying to paint as much as possible to show for open studios.  It's been a big step and I'm already further than I would have believed possible last april.  So all this tells me is all I need to do is show up, do what I can and eventually it's going to keep leading me where I need to go.  If I think of a year from now I can't imagine where I'll be.  I want to be selling my art, making the store beautiful and making enough money to pay for it all and to be paid a 'salary' too.  It's a tall order I know but as a customer today told me "first you have to conceive it then you can achieve it."  I won't let my critic tell me my art isn't good enough to sell (it does), my shop is silly (it does this too) and I am just a wannabe (yep it even says this).  I will prove it wrong and keep perservering.  I mean what the heck else am I gonna do, quit?   No way.  I have quit so many jobs because they didn't challenge me (this always does), the boss sucks (I can't say she's always great but hey, I'm stuck with her) and the pay isn't worth it (I'm paid in many ways not always with $).  So I know I have found the right venue.  Tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start on a clean canvas.  I can hardly wait..............