Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sometimes Running Naked Helps Bare The Truth Which Paves The Way to Honesty

 
Painting in Progress (detail)

Why do artists criticize and beat themselves up so much?  Do people in other professions do this to themselves?  Is it our inner critic?  Are we really trying to produce our best work, or sabotaging our processes by over analyzing every stroke?  I think what I am wondering is...When is it appropriate to ignore that voice?  When do we just strip down and run naked through the streets?

Painting in Progress (detail)


Where is all this coming from?  Well, last week, I ran into a childhood friend whom I see from time to time.  She says to me, "Hey, my Mom is opening a gallery this Fall.  I would love to see your work for consideration."  Immediate steam rises in my brain! My reaction (hidden from sight in my inner psyche) is "Holy Toledo, Why on earth have I not been producing work?!" I run around in my life openly calling myself an artist. Yet I have spent very little focused time producing work. I realize that many artists have slowed down in the last two years and I have allowed this mantra to stop my progress.  Now....I am mad at myself.  It's just stupid that I have allowed other things to get in the way.  Just one big "DUH."

Good news? I'm back in the studio painting.  I have several pieces in progress and I am just letting it happen.  I am a long way from having work that I want to promote, but it is a start.  Regardless, there is that darn voice, that critic there....that's right, it's right THERE.  See it?!!   No??  Well, I do.  The funny, no hilarious, thing is that I was seriously beating myself up on one particular painting.  I had thrown so much of myself into it and I just thought it was horrible. I was wondering if it was time to throw in the towel and cover the painting with gesso.  Enter....stage left, my sister. 

My sister and I are super close.  We talk zabillion times a week, never missing a day.  She lives in my same area. But her home is just far enough away that she just doesn't walk into my house that often.   Strange, but true.  This past weekend, in she walks. Wow!  What?  Neat.  I mention the painting and she heads to my studio.  Now, I should stop and let you know that she is supportive of my career, but has never been a huge fan of my art.  She walks in and takes a look at my unfinished painting and declares that it is her favorite thing I have ever painted and claims it for her own.  Within seconds, she has mentally hung it on the wall of her dining room.   


What a HUGE boost to my morale.  It made me stop and remind myself that people just see things differently.  Eyes of the beholder, one man's trash and all that stuff....  So I am pressing forward on this particular painting and I have started some little 5 inch by 5 inch paintings.  Who knows, maybe I will start an Etsy Shop and start trying to sell my work.  Who knows.  Maybe I might even contact that childhood friend of mine and show her what I am up to..... 

(In case you were wondering...I wrote this because sometimes it is just better to run naked through the streets and survive the embarrassment of it all before you can get on with it. Now let me go put my clothes back on.)  Carry on.

-The End-

6 comments:

Deneen@dreaming-n-color said...

Wow! Tell your sister to send it to me when she tires of it! I love it! You are amazingly talented. I would hang anything you have done in my home!

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

Lesley, I love that painting. I'm so glad you are moving forward with your artwork. Let's see lots more.

Carolyn@SweetChaos said...

Your painting is beautiful! Keep it up, girl!

Liz said...

Has to be the strangest blog post title ever! Glad you have got your creativity back. Funny how things happen together to get us on track!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Flea Market Makeovers said...

Hi!
Thanks for visiting my Comforts of Home blog! I had to come over and check out your messy studio :-)....

Loved this post. I am a mosaic artist - my art blog is Flea Market Makeovers. I know exactly what you mean about letting things slide and then not being sure footed when you start back up again....

Great painting!

Kristin Dudish said...

This.is.a.fantastic.post.

xo
Kristin