Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Go ahead. Dive in and dive deep.

People write to me. They have a myriad of different reasons for dropping me a line, but there is a thread which connects them all. They worry.

Should I really be making art? Am I good enough to write? Is it fair for me to take time away from my family to pursue an activity which may never be a financial success? Do I even possess any talent? I am humbled by this kind of honesty and trust.

And I get it.  Right in the gut. The overwhelming desire to do something they love. To make something beautiful. The need to be reassured and strengthened by another human being.

Maybe it's the fact we're not face-to-face. Maybe these people are just extraordinarily brave. Either way, it takes a whole truck load of courage to admit that we care, because if we fail, and we almost certainly will, it makes us vulnerable.

The reason that these e-mails affect me so deeply is that I understand. Oh, do I understand. I feel these things, too.  On a daily basis, I second-guess myself. I feel insecure. I struggle with finding time to create. I feel like a fraud.

I know without a doubt that I technically have very little artistic talent. I can hear you over there spluttering and rushing to reassure me that I do, but I'm adamant about this. I possess little, if any technical artistic talent.

I do have something else though, and it's a real doozy. I'm stubborn and enthusiastic. When I'm involved in a project or a task, I don't mess around. I roll up my sleeves and get busy with it and it's working for me. Personally and professionally, there is something to be said for hard work and good old fashioned optimism.

I have learned this truth. You should put yourself out there. Yes, you should. Yes, it is worth it. It doesn't matter what the outcome, even if you never sell a single painting. Yes, yes, yes. I urge you to do it. Of course it's safer on the sidelines, but if you desire to grow and move forward, you're going to need to dive in. Don't pussyfoot around about it either. If you're going to dive, dive deep. Give it all you've got.

Is it possible to use the word 'yes' too much?  I don't think so. It reminds me of this poem by Kaylin Haught, which is a favorite, so forgive me if I've posted it before.

God Says Yes To Me
I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

I love the sculptures and vessels made by Brent Freund. I want to hold each of them in my hands for just a bit, feel the heft and texture. You can visit his website by clicking here or on each of the images.

I sold this painting a couple of days ago and it's on its way to a new home.

I also received an invitation to speak at a meeting of the El Dorado Arts & Crafts Association in March. In his usual bad-ass style, The Don has decided that we should turn it into a getaway weekend, so we'll be having a day or two in Santa Fe. Very exciting!

It's hard to tell from the photos, but he's also been very busy transforming the dining room into a gallery. It looks incredible!  I'll post some more pics when it's complete. If you look closely, you can see that there are wires which slide on channels, allowing the art to be moved around and rearranged on a whim.  :)

I hope your week is turning out nicely!


  1. I truly get the "worry" bit too, am beginning to improve my artistic technical ability but creative ability is where I need to be inspired!! I have often found myself putting my work down before anyone else does but you know what.... NO MORE!!! I am willing to take and embrace what happens and stand proudly by my work... I get a lot of positive feedback from the workshops I run (stepped into the unknown about 7 months ago) and am finally getting a message.... some people love my work!!! Not everyone, art is so subjective but enough real live people are affirming my efforts for me to start believing that what I have done is worthy at least to some people!! So no more angst from me I will embrace every opportunity, I will exhibit my work whenever I get the chance and if I don't sell, yes I may be disappointed but there will be another opportunity another time and in the meantime I can still paint and enjoy which for me is the most important thing... anything else is a bonus!!

    1. I know we've said it already, but you and I are definitely on the same wavelength, Judith! It makes my heart happy to hear your enthusiasm and energy for your work. You sound HAPPY and that really the important thing, right?

      So tell me about these workshops? Stepping into the unknown? Sounds exciting!

    2. My own group asked me to do a demo/workshop on how I paint and I just said yes then thought OMG what have I done!!!! So I spent quite while preparing and practising and went into the Lion's mouth just over a year ago, and guess what they loved it, asked me back and then asked me to run the group! I then e-mailed someone I knew who ran a local art group... the one in my most recent blog, he booked me last Summer and recommended me all over!! What is so encouraging is that everyone has invited me back... am even thinking about a book and it's title would be along the lines of "Watercolour... What Art Teachers DON'T tell you!!" There are no limits other than our own fear!!

    3. Wow! Very exciting and inspiring! Especially since I was just invited to do first speaking engagement about art! Thanks for the encouragement. Write the book! Write the book! Your story is fabulous! In fact, I've been kicking around an idea to do interviews with artists and you would be a perfect start. Interested? If so, let me know and we'll continue this chat by e-mail. :)

    4. Robin.... I am interested in everything!!! Especially if it involves talking about art!! My e-mail is judesfarnworth@hotmail.com

      Will wait to hear from you!!

  2. Congrats on the sale! And that sliding gallery thing the Don is making for you... fantastic! How wonderful to have someone so handy and supportive around!

    I totally get the worry thing. I have had to give myself a permission slip to go for it this year. I have chosen "action" as my word of the year and intend to live with it, even when I hold myself back for it (so yeah, I'll be back about the list soon lol).

    1. Hello, Carin!

      I was (am!) very excited about the sale! I'm also excited about the speaking engagement, but I suspect that as it more closely approaches, most of that excitement will be crowded out by nervousness. :)

      Yes, I am so blessed to have The Don. He wears many hats - art handler, substrate preparer, marketing consultant, gallery director. He also makes sure the artist doesn't starve.

      If you need someone to sign your permission slip, I'm your girl!


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