With my paintbrush. I am afraid of paint. It's my favorite medium but I'm afraid of it. Once I put it down on that canvas, it's not easy to bring it back up. And yes, you can paint over it. But after I've put hours and hours into a painting I don't really want to paint over it. So I get scared. I started painting a set of canvas boards last night and after four of them, I vocalized that I hated it and I marched straight into a state of depression and self-loathing.
So tonight, I start over with a brand new idea because wow, I hate last night's idea. I have a better idea. I just need to find a way to execute it. I need something round...and hollow. Like my McDonald's cup here on my desk! Hallelujah. I am a problem solver.
Anyway, I was telling Jeremy that I feel like anyone can do what I do and that I'm just pretending to be an artist. That everything good that I've ever done has been more of a fortunate accident than anything because I don't make plans. I just paint and hope that something good comes out of it. But despite having a house full of fortunate accidents, I still feel like I'm pretending.
So today I re-read a blog post from a year ago about the book Art and Fear thinking that it helped me last time, hopefully it would help me this time.
This needs to be my mantra:
"The fear that you’re only pretending to do art is the (readily predictable) consequence of doubting your own artistic credentials. After all, you know better than anyone else the accidental nature of much that appears in your art, not to mention all those elements you know originated with others (and even some you never even intended by which the audience has read into your work). From there it’s only a short hop to feeling like you’re just going through the motions of being an artist. It’s easy to imagine that real artists know what they’re doing, and that they--unlike you--are entitled to feel good about themselves and their art. Fear that you are not a real artist causes you to undervalue your work.
"The chasm widens even further when your work isn’t going well, when happy accidents aren’t happening or hunches aren’t paying off. If you buy into the premise that art can be made only by people who are extra-ordinary, such down periods only serve to confirm that you aren’t."
But it's much too long to be a mantra. So I suppose I'll just have to remember to look at it occasionally.
Work is incredibly slow this week. I'm going crazy. Next Thursday is my birthday, so Jeremy and I are taking off Thursday and Friday. It will be a much needed break. And the slowness of work this week just further proves to me that I need to be able to work from home selling art and other art-related things. I can keep myself busy that way and I won't go stir crazy.
We're throwing a Halloween party this weekend for the 202/1911 (Freshman dorm numbers) crowd. I'm thinking I'll go as a rubix cube. And Jeremy can be God's Gift to Women (we'll wrap him with a tag that says, "From: God, To: Women"). We'll see.
Note: Forgot that I needed my McDonald's cup. Crushed it and threw it away...just realized it.