Friday, October 23, 2009

Utah Watercolor Society

I was in the beautiful state of Utah this month; invited by the Utah Watercolor Society! A great group of people who I hope to stay in touch with.
Something happened during the week which I thought I'd post since I know it is so central to all of us who are creative.
One of the women asked me,
“Why do people buy your paintings?” At first I was at a loss but after pondering about it for a few days I thought what she was really asking was, “What makes you a good artist?” or “What do I need to do to be a good artist?”
I know that one of the reasons she was taking the class was “to loosen up”. She became conflicted when her brother-in-law criticized her by telling her she was “moving backwards”.
As artists we all face criticism from our family, friends and most of all from ourselves. If we take the time we would see that all artists from the beginning of time had to face crits from someone. Making art is something we have to do to please ourselves and not worry about what anyone else thinks.
Easier said than done.
I’ve found that making art requires discipline, sacrifice and self-confidence. I gave up a 20 year career to take classes full time. I changed my life style. I painted small when everyone else was painting big. I pushed through self-doubts. I painted almost everyday.
I got help where I could. I hung out with only those people who were supportive. I read about art and different artists struggles.
My story will not be your story.
What makes art interesting is that everyone has their own story and style.
All I can say is learn is much as you can, spend as much time at it as possible and stay true to yourself.

3 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Joyce, well said. I as one do have crits that after a while I decided to, as Mother say's; let it roll off your back like a ducks back.

That being said,we are our worst critics. I lately have found myself to keep trying to fix something that was fine and then create another issue.

Thanks for your words of wisdom.

Oda Stone

Linda said...

I have a friend who proudly signed her beautiful oil paintings with her married name. When she decided to try her hand at watercolor, her husband criticized her efforts. From then on, she used her married name on oils, but maiden on watercolors!

Joyce Washor said...

I don't ever show my work to my husband. I learned that a long time ago. It's much better to show it to my 13 year old grandson.