Last year, when I drew this, I had just recently tried painting slowly after a few weeks of speed painting (I had been training for Art Battle by making 20-minute paintings). By changing my pace, I found that so many new ideas were coming to me. But I do remember that the same was true when I began speed painting! So really, just changing an element of what i do – whether it’s pace, palette, materials, or content – can be enough to spark a whole new set of creative ideas.
I am here!
But first, Japantown, sushi, and treats.
And a little hotel selfie, while I’m at it.
And a little art journaling, which I haven’t done in ages.
Today I head to Calistoga to meet about 25 other women, for some dancing, writing, photography, painting, and lounging by the pool! Oh, and I bought my first bikini ever for this trip. Yep, that’s right, I’m going to show off this wrinkled post-baby (twins plus one) belly! It’s about time.
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.”)
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.
Post Vacation Hangover
Symptoms (may include but are not limited to):
- Procrastination in the extreme. This includes checking your Facebook/Twitter/blog comments/Pinterest/Flickr every 1/2 hour. This would also include extensive research (and by “research” I mean watching videos) of puppies.
- Thinking about what you want/should be doing instead of actually doing it. In my case, this means think about how I would like to be painting, but time is running out to get in a good session, so it’s not worth it. Then, feel guilty about not doing what you should be doing.
- Eating. I don’t just mean meals, I mean eating to fill up time so that there is no time to do what you want to do (see above).
- Thinking up
excusesreasons why you need to “take it easy”. After all, you were just on vacation. Life is tough. Seriously though, I always seem to get sick after a holiday, so now it’s time for a second vacation! Getting sick means taking a break from working out, which means lower self-esteem, which means feeling guilty about all the above.
- Wishing you were where you were a week ago (see below) instead of where you actually are (oh yeah, and then feeling guilty about not living in the present moment):
Start doing what you want to be doing. For me, this means painting. After painting for 2 hours today, suddenly I have ideas, I want to work out again, I stop feeling guilty about procrastinating, and my self-esteem goes up. Yay!
The deadline has come and gone, and my Sketchbook Project 2012 (as well as those belonging to my three kids) has arrived safely at the Brooklyn Art Library. [OK, all you grammar-police… would you have said “has arrived” or “have arrived” in that last sentence? Oh, that bugs me that I don’t know!] I am patiently looking forward to the digitized version of my sketchbook (I’ll let you know when that happens), and looking forward to visiting it (along with my 2011 book, again) in October!
We had a lot of fun working on this project together. I love seeing what the kids come up with! Here’s a little sampling from O’s and C’s books (I already blogged about Z’s book! Have to keep it fair!!
Here are some of my favourite spreads from my book:
On to the Sketchbook Project: Limited Edition. I’m almost half way through the book! Yay! There are less than 300 books left if you want to join!