Rock hard toast and coffee is what starts my day. Email first, then some Facebook. Other artist’s work gets me stared some days, other days seeing one of my own paintings in a different light does it. The Ohio State Marching Band gets me revved up for painting. Nothing about art frightens me. Nothing in my studio frightens me. Failures do not frighten me. In my studio I am king.
It was not always like that. The first day in art school my heart was beating so hard I could not move for the first half hour then another student came over and told me to relax and just put paint on my canvas. That student and I have been friends ever since. Sometime we forget how intimidating a blank canvas is for an artist. We forget who we are painting for and let thoughts of disappointing others settle into our heads. Once we realize we are kings when painting, creating art is a continuous reward to share with others. We see awards and rejection slips, with equal joy. Rejection simply means you tried and will try again. Rewards mean you tried and will try again. The real award is turning the lights off in your studio and leaving with a smile, or laying a wet painting on the car seat and smiling with a sunburn.
“My dad paints better than that,” is a comment I heard from a little girl while out painting. At least she took the time to look. Nothing worse than having people not see it, or you. I once had a man crawl through some bushes to see my painting. He scared up a million gnats, hundreds of them landing on my painting. Those gnats were a reward in a way. This man wanted to see my work so bad he crawled through bushes to see it. I did not try to pick off those gnats, just slapped more paint over them.
Some artists are so afraid of what others might say about their art they cannot bring themselves to paint. They let rejection stop them from opening up to the world. There are people out there waiting for your art.