Tag Archives: paintings

Rejected.

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Two of my paintings (above and below) were not accepted into a juried art show at a local art gallery today. Just like last year. Last year, I told myself it was only because of the canvases (the edges were too thin, I was told). This year, I have all sorts of reasons:

I’m not a real artist (whatever that means).

There are words on the paintings and the jury didn’t like words.

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My work is too “pretty” (I have heard this statement before), too colourful, trying too hard, too much like somebody else’s work, too this, too that.

OK, I get it, I get it: I suck.

Before you go commenting to tell me this all isn’t true, I want to assure you that I know this. I know the voices in my head are lying to me. I know they are trying to keep me safe (in a weird way), that they aren’t working for me, etc. I get this. And the whole time I think these thoughts, I also have a witness inside of me, that is completely non-judgemental, and knows that none of it matters, none of it is true, none of it is real. I know.

I’m still crying my guts out.

Rejection is giving me ample opportunity to feel my emotions, to be in touch with what is going on for me, to see what is real, and what I am feeding with my energy. As much as I would rather be jumping for joy that I got into an art show, I am also grateful for the chance to feel so deeply. This rejection is stacking onto another rejection from over a week ago – a more personal one, but one that gave me a huge jab in my core; I hadn’t realized just how low my self-esteem was until that day. I’m still not over that one, and now this double dose of rejection has been difficult, to say the least.

You know how lots of self-help books and websites say, “You can’t love others until you love yourself”? I’ve been thinking about this, with reference to rejection. Is it true that I am actually rejecting myself, and that maybe I don’t love myself enough? At first I thought so, but then I realized I was just trapping myself in my old perfectionist ways again. What I was really saying was,

“I’m not loving myself enough. I am not good enough at loving myself”.

I have realized that in reality, I am very good at loving myself. I cry when I need to cry. I call my husband when I need to hear a loving voice during my shitty day. I ask for hugs. I take myself out dancing. I blog (sometimes.. haha!). I ask for what I want.

I also listen to music when I need to listen to music. During my rejection experience last week, I noticed I wasn’t really in touch with “sadness”, even though I felt sad-ish, and knew I would be sad later. I knew I needed a cry, it just wasn’t happening yet. Music to the rescue: I instinctively played Sigur Ros in the car, without really knowing why, and BOOM! A flood of tears, all day long. A few days later, that sadness turned into anger, and Nine Inch Nails has been helping me feel that and move through it.

You know what? I like my paintings, I really do. I have fun making them, I even like looking at them afterwards (except after a few months – I start to cringe if they hang around too long). I am grateful for all the people who like to look at my art online, whether on my blog or my Facebook page. I am especially grateful for those who send me supporting comments and feedback, and the people who purchase my paintings. As much as I do paint for myself, I don’t want to work in a vacuum, keeping it all locked away for nobody to see. I want people to see my work and to enjoy it.

But not everybody will, and that’s alright, too.

Painting in … New Zealand!

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Remember this tutorial I posted back in 2011? I had no intention of writing a serious tutorial, but I thought it would be a fun way to show how I paint. Turns out, it’s my most popular blog post, ever, with almost 10,000 views. I am still stunned by how seriously people have taken that post! And happy!

Most recently, a group of students at the Kokatahi-Kowhitirangi School in New Zealand used the tutorial to make their own paintings. The class was led by their teacher, Megan McLellan, in the process. Megan and I went to high school together (and used to take the same bus!) and we have been connected on Facebook for several years.

Here’s a photo of the students and their paintings:

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I feel like a proud mama!! I hope they all had fun with it (I see smiles – good sign)! One of my greatest wishes for children is to enjoy the process and have fun with art!

New Cards in the Shop!

I love how these new cards turned out! I had them printed at moo.com, even though I have to pay extra to have them cross the border – it’s still worth it. If you haven’t checked out moo yet, you should; their products are superb quality, turn out gorgeous every time, and the website is easy to use. Hope you like the new cards!

Gratitude Tuesday and some sold paintings!

Today I am grateful for:

  • Chef Stephen (who cooks amazing lunches for the kids at our school) and his yummy dinners. I bought one tonight and it was delicious.
  • My amazing friend Shelley. I have been seeing her for Belief Re-Patterning sessions, which are so powerful. Shelley gave me a copy of the new book about this technique, by Suze Casey (who is also in Calgary – yay!). Thanks, Shelley!
  • Dr. Brene Brown and her wonderful blog and books about vulnerability. If you get a chance, read her post from April 15. I loved it.
  • Crying with my kids while watching “Hugo” today. They are so sweetly innocent, still.
  • Selling a bunch of my paintings recently! I am grateful that there are people who enjoy my art and wish to hang it on their walls. Here they are:

 
The first two are paintings I made for Matt and Meghan.



Here are the paintings in their new home:


I sold these two paintings to Amy:


Deborah bought these two:


And these are two that I sold to Monica. (I am also making a large painting for Monica, and I am very excited to see how it is turning out! More on that later!)


Uptight Chains

The next spread in my Sketchbook Project, Limited Edition. I really like the chains, and I totally meant to do more in this book, but it just didn’t happen. As for the doodling comment, I was definitely fighting my gremlin that day. I would really like to develop some new doodling patterns, designs, techniques, etc. I guess the only way for that to happen is to keep drawing and hope that some pop out.

Two more sleeps until I leave for the Makerie! I can’t wait. I will be posting about it when I return!

New pins in my shop!

For Christmas, my family bought me a button maker! What a great gift! I’ve been making some art especially for the buttons, and some custom designs for other people. There is a woman who sells B.C. apples at our school, and other markets, every week – we call her the “Apple Lady”.¬† A few months ago, she asked if she could sell my pins at the markets and our school. It turns out that the pins have been a huge hit with some of the kids at our school! Apparently they have become collector’s items, and some parents have even told me how their kids talk about the pins. One boy was so happy to be the first to buy my new design! How cute is that?!

I just started selling pins in my shop! I will also set up a custom design listing, but that may take a little while for me to set that up. In the mean time, you can let me know if you are interested. Here are some of the custom designs I’ve made so far:

The pins are 1 1/2″ diameter. Check out my etsy shop to see the listing for my pinback buttons!

Art Secrets Revealed!

Last year I posted a tutorial showing how to make a striped painting. I thought it would be a captivating way to show my art, and I never thought anyone would actually try it. Then people started pinning my painting on Pinterest, and re-pinning, and it is still getting pinned. It’s my most viewed painting on craftgawker, too. I was really taken aback by how much exposure it was getting.

Last week, I received a comment about that painting. Part of the comment was, “I can’t believe you gave away your secret!” I’m a pretty firm believer in artists sharing information about techniques. Why should there be any secrets? Artists are “copying” each other by using the same techniques all the time.

I am curious to see what happens to my painting style when I take “Bloom True” with Flora Bowley (whose paintings I adore) at the Makerie in April. I have noticed that paintings by Flora’s workshop participants look a lot like Flora’s own paintings. I am realizing that this is to be expected when an artist is teaching their techniques. I wonder whether my paintings will start looking more like hers, or if I will be able to maintain my authentic look while still using her techniques.