A friend of mine shared this picture containing a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson on her FB wall, and there was something remarkable about the timing when I saw it...
Because I had just received another rejection letter from another show, this only a few days after losing out on another opportunity as well. When that happens several times in a course of only a few days, you not only question the work you've done in the past, but the plans you have for the future.
I have a series of paintings that I have started, based on the Main Street in Woodstock where my studio is located. I love the scenes, I love taking the photos, seeking out interesting environments and cool people to capture in everyday settings. I think it could be a great series of paintings, and I'd like to turn them into a book.
So here's where the courage will have to come in: can I stay the course, even if people are negative about the series or don't see what I see in the paintings? It's a project that could take over a year. I' haven't work on a series that long since Grad school. And I'm going to need funding and support to buy the supplies, the studio time, and the first run of books. I will have to believe in this series enough to ask for the monetary help to support it for a year AND I will have to have the courage to follow it through.
I posted on my FB wall not too long back that I was getting frustrated by the fact that the "right" set of eyes has not set on the "right" painting yet. Whether it was a juror for a magazine contest, and on-line competition, or even a local juried show. But the responses that so many people gave me really changed my mind, and my attitude: so many Eyes have seen the right Painting, and it means something TO THEM. The Art connects with them, brings them Joy, and Inspiration. Those are the Right Eyes.
And, I came across this quote while reading a book the other day:
"When I say I hate time, Paul says
how else could we find depth
of character, or grow souls?"
(As seen in "On Beauty" by Zadie Smith)
and I had to meditate on the fact that Time is probably what I need: Time to find depth in my character, in myself and in my paintings. My Soul needs to be nourished, and therefor, my paintings will be nourished as well.
I may think that my paintings NOW need to be seen, rewarded, lauded and printed. But with Time - what new depths will I achieve? I am going to try and enter fewer shows, focus less on winning accolades, and focus more on pushing my work. It will take Time. It will take Courage. I hope to have enough of both.