Tuesday, April 1, 2008

shoes that don't fit...

I know I talk about this a lot....but I'm always surprised at the number of us who constantly compare ourselves to others. Why do we always feel that we are not good enough? Especially, as artists. I know even after doing this full time for 10+ years, I still find myself doing it from time to time. WHY???? It's so self limiting. I can walk down the street to another gallery with the intent of merely enjoying myself and the art. Then something happens...It's like a little gremlin takes over... I look at the work and automatically start comparing it to myself. I look at the incredible abstract paintings, with huge price tags and think I should be doing that. My work is silly, it's doesn't garner thousands of dollars for one painting. must not be good enough! How stupid is that? But, we all do that...even just cruising around on the Internet. I once confessed to a good friend of mine that I didn't like looking at other peoples work because I was like a sponge. I soak it all in, think I should be like "so and so" artist to be successful...and forget Wyanne. The truth is that I may not ( shall always be optimistic) get thousands of dollars for a painting, or spend weeks or months laboring on one painting. But, the truth is...if I did...I'd be extremely UNHAPPY. It's not me. It would be like trying to wear shoes that didn't fit...just because they were so beautiful on the outside.

So how do we get past all of this as artists? Well, it's just like not buying the gorgeous shoes that don't fit .... You've got to pay attention to the fit. You've got to look inside yourself, center your mind and listen to your heart. It will tell you what's right for you. You can appreciate other artist's work without feeling like you "need" to create like they do to be successful. You find the shoe that fits you best, where every toe has lots of room, and the arch has just the right amount of support and then you wear it proudly with passion. It might not be the latest fashion, but it's always the way it feels inside that counts the most. And, when the inside of the shoe feels so'll have a little spark in your step and soon you'll be dancing to your own song.

The truth is...I can't spend weeks or months at a time on one, re-thinking, and making it pure perfection. I would go insane. I have way too many ideas that constantly bombard my mind that I just have to get out. Those ideas are way more simplistic and whimsical compared to the complex, lyrical, high dollar abstract paintings down the street....but that's okay. It's even grand...because it's me...and just me. My shoes are really comfy and I'm dancing all the time.

I just finished a huge commission piece for a long time customer. After she reviewed the photos of the finished piece she sent me this email. I started crying after I read it, and my husband thought someone had died. He read it over my shoulder and said it was the greatest compliment I've ever gotten as an artist. He was right, and with her permission...I'm going to share it with you.

Wyanne -
The painting is AMAZING! I can't wait til it comes home! I completely trust your judgement on finishing the piece.
I want to share something with you about the power of your work. My first work of yours was the Bicycling Diva - I had just started riding again (I am 51) and the print inspired me. Since buying it I have dropped 90 lbs, ridden in 30 mile races and been profiled by BikeNewYork !
More amazingly, I later bought the picture of a couple in a field of yellow flowers (Black-eyed Susans, i like to think!) with the same little reddish dog as the bike diva. Two months ago that little dog came into my life!

And even more amazing, I lost my husband after a 10 year struggle with Alzheimer's - and had no intention of ever letting a man into my life again.....but something about that print spoke to me. I hung it outside my bedroom and saw it first thing every morning and last thing every night. Wyanne, shortly after hanging the print I was out riding my bike when I ran into a guy I have known for 25 years and had lost touch with. We are now as much in love as the couple in that print.
You have transformed my life and I can not possibly express my gratitude.

It is amazing to me that my silly, little whimsical paintings could have such an impact on someone's life. My college art instructors would probably cringe if they saw the work that I was doing instead of those huge, high dollar abstracts...But that's okay. I took what I needed from art school, combined it with what made me happy, and then multiplied that by lots of love...and what do you know....the shoe fits and a few even think it's pretty fashionable too. Who knew!!!

Dance in your most comfy'll be glad you did.


Here's a new video for you. Enjoy.

Pin It