Today I’m thinking a lot about what I’m doing as an artist—again. This is, in part, thanks to my husband. He’s very honest when it comes to my art making.
I’ve been too busy with work and life to create. I finally sat in my studio early Saturday morning determined to get back into things. I started out by not planning to make anything in particular. I just wanted to scribble on paper, move around paint, etc. And, who showed up again? One of the gown-wearing ladies I always paint.
That was fine, I thought. But when I looked at the entire piece that I created I decided that it was a hot mess. It’s out of proportion, the colors are all wrong, and the focus of attention is in the wrong place. There are so many places where I should have stopped and not overwork the piece, but I didn’t.
I asked my husband, “this is a disaster, right?” I knew the answer. “Yeah,” he confirmed. The truth sucks! It’s important, but sucks, nonetheless.
Then he went further by again probing why I keep painting the same figure. I, of course, still have no answer. He challenged me to push myself to paint something else, noting that when I do I come up with some really powerful work. I just smiled, fighting all the urges that arise when an artist feels criticized and questioned.
In my heart and head, I know that he is right. I should explore other things. Is it that I’m just creatively drawn to this lady in the gown? Or is it that I’m afraid I can’t do anything else, so it is more comfortable to always end up drawing her?
Fear. Hello, old pal.
I don’t know the answer, but I will continue to think about it, and perhaps try other subject matter.
The images above show my creative process leading up to my little “disaster.” (I was so sure that this would be a spectacular piece that I wanted to document it. That assumption likely was the start of the problem.) I finally cut up the piece and kept the one part I like most–the lady. 🙂