Loving what you do

March 14, 2017


When did it become "normal" to feel it isn't okay to like our own work?

As children we are super stoked when we create something, "Look it! Look it! Look it! I did this! I'm great!" And maybe as a parent you feel it's necessary to take'em down a notch, but more likely you say, "You are AHmazing!" And Life is Good.

I've been working hard at painting these past months. I've taken class after class. Putting my ego on the shelf. Playing beginner.  With "Just because I know, doesn't mean I know" on repeat in my head.

And I've struggled. Oh how I've struggled.

Nothing looked like I wanted it to. Each canvas was an absolute grind. Someone else's voice was directing me: "make marks THIS way. arrange things like that. look for differences. flow is important. keep the values top of mind. use shapes but not too many."

I'd head to the studio with grit and determination. I was gonna master this thing dammit.

And then a week or so ago while I was listening to a podcast as one does (Art For Your Ear Ep.15 if you care)  working through all of this ... angst ... feeling like a stranger in my own skin. I'd switched tasks, putting down my brushes, giving the "Capital P)ainting" a rest, happily aging, patina'ing an assemblage shrine. Y'know. Doing my thing.

Danielle and Hollie were talking about how they'd tried other things ... graphic design, marketing, teaching, painting... because what was easy for them (collage) didn't seem like the Right Thing. Because, well, it was so easy.
And how much they loved doing what they do now.
And how much they absolutely love their work.

I looked down.
I soaked in the textured shrine in my hands. The smooth paint. The rough texture. My palette, colours running into each other. My paint covered fingers. And I looked over at the canvas that'd been staring me in the face, mocking me for days ... months.

That little intuitive gut voice, you know the one, said, "You know how to do this."
And I grabbed my palette and started applying paint to the canvas how I do for my assemblage works. With my fingers. Dabbing into this colour, and then that colour, smearing over the surface, into the texture. Dipping into water, smoothing out the prints. Back and forth. Back and forth.
 An hour passed.

h.a.p.p.i.l.y.

No angst.
No one else's voices.

Within days I'd finished.
And you know what? I absolutely adore it.
Yes. I said A.D.O.R.E.

Because truly. If I can't ...or won't... then who will?

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