By Sue Hulen
Let me just preface this by saying that some prefer to be called “painters” while others would rather be called “artists.” It’s your choice.
We are people who are just trying to get through each day the best we can with as few hurtles as possible. It’s a concerted effort to go through all the necessities of creating a piece of art. It would be beautiful if all we had to do was spend our days creating beauty and fun things, but life gets in our way. Priorities take center stage. We can day dream, but live in a reality based life.
I must admit I admire and envy the artists back in time that were able to spend all their waking time creating beautiful pieces of art. They didn’t have all the trappings we have today. There were no telephones, cell phones, computers, cars, televisions, or other such things that take our time from our art. When you’ve been raised with all this insignificant “stuff” it’s hard to get along without most of them. Their lives must have been so uncluttered and basic. Now, we have cell phones ringing all over the place in public and at home, car alarms and home alarms going off all the time, sirens, loud music (most of which I’d rather not have to listen to), crime, horns honking and just “noise.” So many unwanted and unnecessary distractions and we’re busy doing too many things that we don’t even need to do just to say we’re busy and to compete with others who are busy doing the same unnecessary things. How crazy is that? So often we make our own lives complicated when it doesn’t need to be. We need to just slow it down. Put the brakes on.
I’m not sure if those who are not painters/artists appreciate what we do. Do they really see the love, creativity, talent, brainstorming, expense, strained eyes and strained backs, painfully little time to give to our art, and what we sacrifice? Not to mention the time spent questioning ourselves and our talent and wondering if we truly do have something artistic to offer. It can be a real challenge to keep from destroying our talents. Our self -talk can be so brutal that it’s shameful. We would never speak to a friend the way we sometimes speak to ourselves. Why do we do that? We too often question our offerings and give very little credit to ourselves. A big fat pat on the back is what we need from time to time. Once in a while we need to just look at ourselves in the mirror and say “Good job. Do you even realize how good you are?” and then pat yourself on the back or give yourself a great big hug. Why not?
Self-encouragement is a beautiful thing. Maybe others don’t tell you or don’t tell you enough how much they like and enjoy what you’ve created, and that’s OK. We know that we know that we know our finished project is the best we could do. And you know what?…..That’s good enough. Yes we receive rejections from magazines etc. and we question our talents and even have to put up with other artists criticisms and even some who steal our designs and make them their own, but we struggle through and are better for having dealt with it. It’s not easy doing what we do, but we love it and keep on keeping on. We must be an optimistic tribe.
Those non-artists may not appreciate all that we go through, but we do. We can live with that. As long as we put our all into it, we can be proud of what we’ve accomplished. I guess we really don’t need their approval or acceptance or even their understanding. We are creators of beauty and we accept, understand and approve of ourselves and of our brother and sister artists.
All is well in my world.