awesome april (day 3) – putting it out there

One of the strangest dichotomies of being an artist is the constant need to “express yourself” and the constant fear of “putting it out there.”

I’ve been making art for a long time, and I still struggle with this.  Sometimes when I enter a new juried show, or approach a gallery about showing my work,  I get a little knot in my stomach about how I’m going to be perceived, and wonder if I’ll be accepted or rejected.  (Just keeping it real).  I do something similar when I’m making art sometimes, too, especially if it’s outside of the box.  I’ll have this great idea, and then talk myself out of it before I even start (my “censor” gets the best of me).  But I have also learned that when I have that feeling, it means I’m stepping out of my comfort zone, and that’s a good thing.  I’ve just got to push through the fear and cross into the unknown.

Michelle's painting in progress
a detail of Michelle’s painting in progress

On Thursdays, I have three adult students that come to the studio to paint.  They’re all at different experience levels and backgrounds, all with different interests. One common thread we’ve all found is that sometimes it’s just hard to get started.  The potential that a blank canvas holds can be exhilarating and daunting.  The drawing is on the canvas, but there is no color yet.  And then you jump in.

Michelle has been working on a gorgeous painting, using the palette knife to apply her paint.  She was telling me today how she once took a class, and admired how one of the other students seemed to effortlessly apply the paint with a palette knife, and how she felt like she would never be able to do that.  But now, after giving it a shot, (and some practicing), she can, too.  And she does it well!  This is still a work in progress, but she is doing an outstanding job of layering the colors with her palette knife, finding that balance of creating a realistic image while keeping the expressive scrapes of the knife.

Tatiana work in progress
Tatiana’s work in progress

It was also fun to watch Jo and Tatiana today, as they got started on new paintings. At first, the blankness of the canvas was a bit intimidating, but once they started, they were so happy with what they had done.

And I was very impressed with them, too — look at those colors and expressive lines!

Jo's work in progress
Jo’s work in progress

A good start. (Thanks, ladies for letting me share your works in progress – for letting me put it out here!)

So now I’m going to log off and submit work for a new show – one that pushes me into the unknown.  Wish me luck.

 

 

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3 Replies to “awesome april (day 3) – putting it out there”

  1. I have been struggling with a piece lately too. A subject I don’t normally do and on a canvass that is causing meadditional problems. However, I know if I am not struggling, I’m not learning anything new. Thanks for your words about stepping out of your comfort zone. Also enjoyed seeing your student’s in-progress works. They are doing great!

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