How things change…
I have a favorite photo of my mom from over 20 years ago sitting right near my bedroom door where I see it all the time. She has been gone now for almost ten years and as I have looked at that photo, she has gotten younger and younger. Of course, it is me that is getting older, and as the years have gone on my perception of how she was in that photo have changed. I am now creeping up on the age she was in that photo.
Periodically I come across older paintings that I was so proud of at the time that I now cringe a little bit inside when I see them. I guess that is a good thing. A sure sign of progress. We artists are like puppies…
“Look at me! Look at what a good boy I am! See what I did? See me wagging my tail? Jumping for you? Painting for you? Where is my praise?”
Sound familiar on Facebook? I rarely see someone post about the struggle or the sense of fulfillment they feel when they are only in the middle of working on something or how a painting is a secret joy even when it does not get finished. Nope- paintings are posted and then we want a pat on the head.
I am guilty too. It is fun getting positive feedback. But it can all be just noise. And pretty accolades do not make the work better. Time and work do.
Lots and lots of work.
So keep painting. For yourself. Not for a show or for an award. Although GOALS are great, they need to be collected along the way to something more permanent. Something that grows and changes and becomes tangible. A collective vision of years. Your years.
I have put paintings I once thought were wonderful and were once proudly hanging on my walls into boxes and they are now collecting dust. I think that is a true sign of improvement. What was once good is now held to a higher standard. And the paintings I am working on now I truly hope will get delegated to boxes in the future.
My perception will change.
I will have my favorite images, but I will hopefully grow past them and keep building on something more significant with each new painting. I wish that for you too.
That someday your paintings will wind up in boxes.