Just finished reading a post by photographer Kelly Langner Sauer, on how her biggest photography mistake was in not trusting herself. That’s my biggest obstacle, too.
I started messing around with a canvas and some acrylic paint last night, and in about ten minutes brushed together a non-representational painting that looked done. This morning, it still looks complete, and I like it. But my immediate thought is “I can’t show this to anyone, or try to sell this. It only took me a few minutes.” Never mind the years of learning that led up to it, or the time I spend daily feeding my creative spirit – it’s all cumulative, and here I’m balking over an issue of time.
In watercolour, I have kept painting too many times when I had seen a finished painting in the early stages, but thought “Oh, no one will understand it if I leave those details unpainted.” It’s a great way to ruin a piece of art.
I’ve been working the farmer’s market in my home town this year, and though my booth is largely made up of baking and crafty things, I always bring some art to display. It’s been nourishing to hear the comments from people – the praise for a piece that to me has become humdrum in its familiarity. I also find it interesting that for some, a new respect flavours their tone when they see my paintings – while I have a table filled with my creative offerings, seeing me as a “real artist” is somehow more admirable. It’s just another reminder that I can trust my inner voice when I create – whether a painting, a scrapbook page, or a blog post.