As some of you may know from this post, I was accepted a few weeks ago by the royal art collection to submit a piece for an exhibition in Dubai... Having come through the process whereby I have been required to create a piece of work within a set theme and size dimensions, I now remember all too well why I made a decision at the start of the year not to do any commissions at all in 2010!
Something changes when I have parameters. I think it has something to do with my sense of freedom, my 'painters self asteem' and the boundaries I place on myself to create something more awesome and new and wonderful than ever before. Although I did have a theme and set size to work with, it was always my right to interpret that theme anyway I see fit, so technically I should have felt free to create away to my hearts content, but for some reason, I felt as though i was waaaay back at the beginning again. All the old fears and worries raised their ugly heads. The voice inside that says things like " who do you think you are being a part of this - have you seen the other entrants' work?" "you've got to be kidding - who are you trying to fool" and on and on, was very hard at work trying to distract me from my task at every turn.
This is the very same voice that up until now I have dealt very harshly with and for the most part sent packing. I recognise this 'voice' as part of my ego. That part of me that actually wants to protect me from harm. To protect me from failure and embarrassment and critique. And that's all well and good (thanks for looking out for me Ego) but I for one do not want to be kept captive to such limiting views. I have always loved a good challenge. Actually, in the past I think I have actually thrived on them ( which is why I accepted in the first place I suppose...). So why is this work any different? I'm not sure. I think perhaps it's because a very personal and intimate part of ourselves is put 'out there' for all to see and critique and love or hate when we hang our art in an exhibition (and I've never exhibited before). But my intuition, which has served me well thus far says to have a bit of faith in myself, that nothing is achieved by sitting back on my haunches. That I have to get 'out there' where it's uncomfortable, in order to grow. I do know I have a burning desire to 'sit' under another painter and be mentored and taught I have SO much to learn, and I would just love to see how others apply paint and achieve their imaginings on canvas, so there's definitely a part of me that says "oh you're not ready for this - you're just so new, give it a while" And so the battle goes!
Yes, I still do feel like a very small fish in a very big pond when it comes to things like the Dubai Exhibition (I've seen the other artists - man are they good!) , but the practical side of me says that they didn't have to choose me if they didn't like my art. "Yeah but they were probably short on artists and were just taking what they could get" (Mr Ego) Well, my answer to that? Who cares! For whatever reason, I was chosen, and that is a blessing and I'm thankful. It's nice to have things swing my way once in a while ;)