Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Comfortable with Me.
There is a wonderful saying in French that translates loosely as "Comfortable in my own skin". I think that's an important thing for an artist to feel. After years of wondering how I should look, how my art should look, I finally did get comfortable. Maybe it started with my horse, because when I was with him, I was no fashion plate, with wind tossed hair and faded jeans pockets stuffed to overflowing with apples for treats and Kleenex to wipe his often runny eyes. And I was as happy as could be!
The painting comfort was a little slower to come together. For so many years I felt I needed the validation of art shows and competitions. I was part of a great many art shows and never really enjoyed them, and was accepted into a good number of competitions, and even won some ribbons, but there was never the expected rush of "WOW! I DID IT!!" Instead, it was always a case of, "Well OK, I'd better get the painting ready to ship", or "that's nice, a ribbon". So why was I going to the effort and expense to enter these things?
Maybe it was simply time that brought me to the conclusion that my work is very good, (I don't need to be the best animal artist in the world, but I know I'm good) and that sense of confidence let me walk away from the shows and competitions. Don't get me wrong - I'm not knocking them. If these things are something you love to do, that's wonderful and Good Luck. But not being a super competitive person, those venues are just not for me. I still get invited to enter several shows/competitions a year, and I never do.
I prefer to paint quietly, show my paintings on my website and social networking, and once in a while, put some work in a local gallery or two. I'm also starting off in my own Etsy Gallery - The Dog Art Gallery, and I love posting new work for sale there. Selling my work gives me a big high too, and I love to hear nice comments about it. It's these quiet things and doing the best work I can do, that make me happy with my paintings. I think I have achieved comfort in my own skin.