Uncomfortable In Art

I wanted to finally write a blog about a small act of bravery then my normal “struggling” posts. Sorry to disappoint, but this one turned into a struggle as well. I had this small excitement about entering this art show. I hadn’t done anything like it and so there was a rise inside and I had little expectations but generally I thought it would bring me happiness. I had put in 5 paintings for consideration and only 2 were chosen. That is fine. I had gone out on a limb just to see if they would choose any and they did. Small happy moment.

I went to drop off the paintings and the Curator was very nice. She asked me, “Are you excited or nervous?” And I replied, “Nervous.” I saw some of the other artwork and felt a little less happy. They were framed and just looked more professional. I mentioned to her that I didn’t realize that I should have framed them and she was like it is fine and it wasn’t important. I had to leave them as they were. I felt some doubt.

I came to the opening day a week later. I wasn’t excited anymore, but felt that I was going to follow through. My oldest daughter attended with me. All the work was up and as I walked through I wasn’t really sure how I felt. Most of the other artists knew each other and huddled together to chat. The Curator had come up to me again and spoke to me about an artist club in another local town. I told her I would check out the website. She critiqued my work and was hard on it and it was hard on the ego. She walked away and I felt floored. I looked around and remembered that I have a very supportive home community that even though I am fairly solo in my work but I am a strong supporter of future artists. I have been pushing myself, my daughter and others to try and to cool the voice that says you can’t do it. I have been “arting” since I could pick up a pencil. It was the few places in my life that even if it was hard it still had this easiness in experimenting.

The crowd was uppity artsy fartsy and I don’t belong. And, it is ok. I say that now, yesterday when it happened I was thinking that it wasn’t a good idea and how could I post about it on Facebook or Instagram. I couldn’t make it seem like the most joyful thing that has every happened because it definitely was not. Again, I wanted to follow through, but I had to think about my approach.

I came home and thought about it and then I remembered that taking a risk isn’t always having the most positive and successful outcome, but it is to grow and learn and ask yourself is this what you really want. And I do. I can tell you that I looked at their artwork and it felt safe, but I have been there and I don’t want safe anymore. I told myself when I started painting that if I found anything that inspires me that I would try to do it. Sometimes it is hard and sometimes it comes out so easy. The horse painting they fawned over is the one that took no time at all. The other flower one is one of the first paintings I had done in 2015 and it took time. I have grown as an artist.

In the end, I am proud of myself. I had the moment of feeling inadequate, but then I was reminded that I didn’t want to feel safe like the other artists huddled together. I felt good to be the outsider. I hope anyone who stops in and sees my art can sense the love of the pansy that I painted representing my mom’s flower garden at our family home. The horse painting that shows the strength and power of one of man’s best friend.

It wasn’t a perfect experience, but I am grateful for it.



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