Tag Archives: artists

When artists look for validation.

When artists look for validation outside of themselves, things can get yucky.

For the most part, since April, I have been happy with my painting, and really enjoying the process. I almost always enjoy the compliments I get (I say almost because I’m still working on really taking them in, rather than dismissing them).

Participating in the Gorilla House Live Art battles is really giving me something to work on, as my dear friend Tietje pointed out. Last night, after the auction, and after a fun night of painting, instead of being happy that my two paintings were bought by Valda, a lovely woman who was eager to purchase both, I was instantly bummed that my pieces sold for the lowest they ever have (in a total of four auctions) while other works were getting up to five times as much as mine. As Tietje pointed out, I am allowing the purchase price of my paintings determine my self-worth. I don’t care so much about going home with cash in my pocket, but low sale price seems to equal crappy art, which logically means crappy artist, or not an artist. See how my mind works?

Having had a morning to mull it over, I would say that there were a bunch of little things that ended up in me perhaps not turning out my best work: the themes were not ones that I could immediately relate to; I tried something a little different towards the end of one of my paintings; and I had to pack up my stuff about 10 minutes early to get out of the way for the auction. Being the first adult to auction paintings probably didn’t help much, either, but now I’m kind of looking for reasons why my paintings weren’t the problem.

Things to work on:

It’s OK to have bad days.

It’s OK to produce bad art. That doesn’t make me a bad artist.

It’s OK to feel bummed sometimes. I don’t even have to look for reasons why.

It’s OK to want validation, because without it, aren’t we producing art in a vacuum?

Validation, or lack of it, doesn’t define who I am.

“Success isn’t permanent and failure isn’t fatal.”
Mike Ditka (like my brother says, “Art is just like football. You either win, or you lose.”)

Art Battle 8 (my second)!

I had a great time last night at the 8th Gorilla House Live Art Battle! Many of the regulars were there, and lots of new faces, too. Here’s Bruce; don’t you love his shirt??

I was quite thrilled to walk into the gallery and see my paintings on the wall! Thanks to Elijah for hanging them.

Janice Beaton Fine Cheese was set up again. Towards the end of the night, I started chatting with a wonderful person who introduced herself as Janice. “As in, Janice Beaton?” I asked. Yes! I was totally wowed. It was like meeting a celebrity. Wendy, who works with Janice Beaton Fine Cheese, told me about this Riopelle cheese, which is adorned with artwork by the Canadian artist of the same name. How cool is that? Hm, I wonder what Fireman cheese would taste like! Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

Like last time, I set up in the front room.

And painted, and painted, and painted. I started getting a little worried that they weren’t going to come together, but they did. I guess they always do! I have to trust the process! The themes for the night were: red knife, layers of colour, and midnight bike riders. The second one was made for me, but I was able to incorporate the other two as well!

As usual, there was an auction at the end – it was pretty long, because there were so many artists, but there were two great musical interludes, too!

The musician Ethan Collister wrote a song during the art battle. He auctioned off the rights to the song (along with a simple demo and lyrics). Love that idea. There was a bit of a battle going for that one!

My turn:

Theresa de Grosbois bought both of my paintings! I was feeling pretty special that she wanted both.

Kath was back again, and rocked the night again with her beautiful piece.

It was great to see my friend Caryl there, too. I hope to see you (that’s a general “you”, not specific to you, Caryl! But I would love if you were there, too, of course!) there at the next art battle. Bring your paints!

What I learned from Flora.

Close-up of a painting in the early stages.


After taking Flora Bowley‘s “Bloom True” intuitive painting course at the Makerie last weekend, these are the things that have stayed with me:

1. Find what’s working and do more of it. This is the same thing Eva says to us in our Core Connexion dance classes.

2. There are no mistakes (always good to be reminded)!

3. Painting is so much fun.

4. I can paint for a whole day without one peep from my inner critic. (Holy CRAP! I never knew this was possible!)

5. The artists that I look up to don’t need to be placed on a pedestal. They are regular people, like me. We can even be friends.

6. I am capable of accomplishing big things.

7. I love my paintings.

8. Having creative friends in my life is crazy important to me.

9. Meeting people in person is so much better than online.

10. My need for quiet time should not be ignored.

11. I trust myself.