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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rooster No. 5 - and Thoughts on Fear and Courage

Rooster No. 5
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100
sold

I was emailing a friend who is also an artist and a collector of my paintings, and she wrote about how scary it is to make a painting for someone. For anyone, really. They might not like it, it might not look like the person/dog/scene that the buyer was picturing, the buyer might think you're a talentless hack.... and on and on.

I confessed to her that I'm scared pretty much all the time. As I drive up to a show, and especially to a new show, I am often literally shaking. I'm afraid that the people at the show, buyers and artists, are going to look at my paintings and see right off the bat that I am self-taught, that I don't know the rules, that I'm a messy painter, that I can't draw, and on and on and on.

But I told her that I just get a hold of myself, pull myself together, and go on and do it. Be scared, sure - but do it. We are all scared - or at least, I suspect we all are.

After I wrote this to her, I went to the home page of the Piedmont Plein Air Paintout, that I'm participating in this week. I started looking at the paintings by the participating artists  - and totally freaked out again. Sigh.

I left the site, got a handle on my fear and paranoia, and went back to the site later in the day. When I looked again, I could see clearly that my paintings do stand up next to everyone else's - and after all, I was chosen to participate! That should be enough to quiet the fears, right?

I'm sharing all of this not so you all will tell me that I'm a good painter, etc. I'm sharing it because so many people tell me all the time how frightened they are - of painting, of trying to paint, of applying to shows, of thinking of quitting their jobs to follow their dreams. People tell me how brave I am - and I just wanted to share that, really, I am not brave. I am scared and hesitant, but I go ahead and do it anyways. And anyone can do this. It doesn't take not being afraid. It takes not letting your fear paralyze you.

My faith; my belief in what I'm doing; my dear and supportive husband; my dear and supportive daughter, brother, sister, father and stepmother; and all the people who read this blog, go to the shows and buy my paintings, all of these people, all of you, help me find the courage that I need to go ahead, fear in hand, and do what needs to be done.

***
JUST A NOTE, in passing. I've changed the title of "Fat Guy at the Diner" to "Room at the Counter." I gave the painting that title in part because it has the same rhythm as "Nighthawks at the Diner," one of my very favorite paintings. But several long-time readers of this blog said they loved the painting, but wouldn't want to buy it, because of the title. Being a person who has struggled with my weight for my entire life, I do understand their point of view, and agree. 

***
Dog of the Day
It's Katharine Hepburn, who lives with Lynn Hoins, a faithful reader of this blog. 
Kate looks a lot like our cat Samantha, mother of Puffy and Kizzy, who appeared 

2 comments:

Jackie Lemmon said...

I believe that some of the best artists are self taught....teachers at art schools force their way of doing things onto students, taking away some of their individual art processes and focusing on the "proper" way of doing things.I believe that some of the best artists are self taught....teachers at art schools force their way of doing things onto students, taking away some of their individual art processes and focusing on the "proper" way of doing things.

carrie jacobson said...

Thanks for your thoughts on this, Jackie. I agree!

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