Whatever stops you from starting that next painting or artistic project? - Self doubt, disillusionment, lack of inspiration, no time , having a wedding to plan, or a garden to prepare for an open house..? There are hundreds of reasons or excuses (some even sound good) - outer pressures and inner voices all fighting to cool your fire!
The Manitoba Art Expo is the largest collective art exhibition in our province, and annually , many of our best artists work exceptionally hard in preparation. Months of creating art, then setting up, and finally standing beside their booths for 3 days straight, smiling. (Oct 23-25 2015 at the Assiniboia Downs, Winnipeg). Be there - it's an awesome event! Already humbled by the thought of standing alongside of the best, I had decided to not participate this year for what I thought were good reasons. Like, why should I - spend all that energy, input, time, money for what may potentially be exhausting and demotivating, because I’ve compared myself to the few long-time fantastics (who by the way have altogether earned the right to be called best selling artists). Their hot cakes on canvas are being carried out the door before my eyes. I'm looking at all the gaps on their walls, and mine are few. The comparison is so literal and in my face it’s hard to focus on my own journey and see things in the right perspective. Deciding to not put myself through that again was a no brainer. I am experiencing growing pains. I love the peace and quiet of my country life, but just maybe I sometimes hide out here in my glorious isolation where I can’t see my own reflection. Seeing ourselves mirrored in what appears to be success we haven’t yet achieved, can hurt. It’s intimidating.
I have to thank Rose, a Winnipeg based artist and fellow exhibitor for her generosity of spirit when she called me recently after 2 years of my absence at the show, to touch base. We had a good conversation, sharing our journeys, and a comment she made stood out. We talked about how an upcoming event is a good motivator to knuckle down and produce new work and she said “you might just come up with that next special, key painting that stands out for you”. Its not just about being on a production line to have enough to fill a wall, or even being a big seller, but occasionally magic happens, and you’ll never experience it unless you keep on painting. That resonated so much with something I'd just read from one of my favourite art bloggers.
Danny Gregory is a sketch artist, art educator and author in New York and he writes fascinating, challenging and inspiring blogs. ‘Vincent and the Monkey”, deals with the inner critic that plagues us all, monkeying about with our progress. He writes about the great Vincent van Gogh, touching on his short time on earth and "there being so much beautiful art that never was made, never sketched or painted or framed or hung" because of all those things that prevent us from making it. Please read it!
Needless to say, I have been con'Vince'd. I will now be standing tall at my booth at the expo this year. Smiling. And maybe, as I prepare, a little magic will happen.
Please tell me you have growing pains too... If so, here is a prescription for you for 4 little analgesics. Take one every day with a glass of wine (for the rest of your life!) (downlaod)