I’ve just unwrapped one of the large canvasses I bought at the start of this year and put it up on the easel. A vast 28×28 inch sea of blank canvas faces me. And as always, staring that huge expanse down is a little bit scary.
Does that fear ever go away, I wonder?
I think not. Because painting is no longer just a hobby, something I do to fill the hours or just for fun. It’s much more than that. Much deeper.
My painting practice is my vein of gold – my conduit to healing, spirituality, wisdom, and breakthroughs.
And so I’ve been noticing, more closely, my responses to paint, to how my work is received, and to how it wants to grow.
One thing that’s easy to see is that I have a thing for vibrant colors. Bright. Colourful. Luscious fields of color. I don’t bat an eyelid butting rich reds and vibrant oranges and yummy blues and purples next to one another. It’s only more recently than I have started adding a lot more white to my paintings, but I have also used it very sparingly and loved the crazy riot of colors.
Someone once told me my paintings look Frida Kahlo-esque in their vibrancy.
I mumbled an unintelligible response and wished I could hide. Because comparing my art to Frida – even if only for their vibrancy – seemed blasphemous.
But then I realised, this person had no reason to say what they did. No reason to flatter me, or say something nice just to be polite. They could have just nodded and passed on by.
It’s only recently, many many moons later, that I finally allowed myself to feel the warm glow of that compliment, without my stomach twisted up in knots feeling like I was an impostor.
I’m noticing, also, how very difficult it is for me to accept compliments. My first instinct is to brush them away. And I have to consciously stop myself from doing that.
Because it’s just silly, isn’t it? When people make the effort to drop a comment on my work, it isn’t something to be swept away.
How many of us take the time to pause during the infinite scroll and leave a comment for someone?
Not many. I know there are many times when I don’t.
So when someone takes the time and makes the effort to appreciate my work, it isn’t something I should just be brushing off, refusing to believe the sincerity of it.
Noticing, and promising to accept these comments with much more ease and grace.
What have you been noticing recently?