After much debate (mostly in my crowded head), I've decided to enter in my hometown's little art show. It is an outdoor gig to sell paintings. SELL paintings! After making this decision in the beginning of July with the help of my junior high school art teacher, I dove into research on pricing, framing, hanging the paintings, payment options and how will they take it home?
The art festival is August 15th. That is two weeks away. Paintings take at least that long to dry. Since most of my paintings are portraits or commission type work, I decided I needed more crowd friendly paintings. With deadlines looming (I can't hang wet paintings!), I have been painting non stop.
I learned a lot from all this work. I learned that I LOVE portraits...and everything else not-so-much. I did learn to like flowers and once I changed my technique a little bit, the process was better., even enjoyable. I learned that I can paint for 12 hours in one stretch and that I might forget to eat. I learned that I can't sleep in the middle of a painting so it's best to finish it all in one go. I learned that I don't like painting on anything smaller than a 11x14. And last but not least, I learned that night scenes with architecture can be difficult to paint.
If you could look at my house right now (I'm so glad that you can't...) you would see walls with white paper over hooks (to protect the wall) with paintings on top, hanging on the wall to dry. You'd see that I've outgrown my little make shift studio. The new studio is coming soon. For sure, I'll post about that! All this mess is progress. It means I'm working!
I think the biggest thing I've learned so far is that self doubt can be overcome with perseverance. The artist's curse can be very persuasive. If you don't know what that is, it's the little voice in artist's heads that tell us what crap we are producing. Since we are the creators, we tend to see all the mistakes. Artists that have a strong curse tend to make wonderful art if they aren't crippled with self-doubt. I had stopped painting from around last October until March. All winter, I did not paint. When I was finally ready to get back into it, I dove back in. Hopefully, far enough that I won't find my way back to not doing anything.
How did I break the funk? Well, I reasoned with myself. Platitudes didn't help, I needed logic. I'm a knitter. I have knitted many garments, blankets, socks, bags, so many things. Not once have I been crippled with self doubt. I just made it because it was fun. I liked the process better than the product. Bingo. That was what I needed to do. Just enjoy painting, see what comes of it. Explore new ways and find my own style. If it's successful, it's icing on the cake. (Ice cream would be my preference, but it doesn't go with the saying.) If I happen to think that a painting is failing, I have to just remember that these paintings make the best teachers. I learn something from them every time.