Of Colton and Confidence
I have been writing a lot about confidence lately. So I thought I would share how recently my own confidence was shaken up a bit, in regards to my Colton painting. And it came from a completely unexpected source, an artist friend from my art group.
This is not a story about how horrible she was, for indeed I could have misread the whole situation. What this is a story about, is my emotional state and how I felt about the whole thing. So please no flaming of the artist mentioned here. Though I do believe she was excessively harsh, she is also a good person and the reasons she reacted the way she did, are known only to her. At this point I have let go of any negative feelings about it.
It all began with . . .
I hosted our art group many days back. We had just gotten together and hadn’t really begun talking art yet. When she said “Mona I’m sorry . . . but I think you just ruined your Colton painting!”
Mind you I didn’t ask for her opinion and the artwork wasn’t even out. She had read the blog and just felt the need to share. And share she did. For the next 15 minutes or so I listened to all the ways I screwed it up and how I don’t know what I’m doing.
“Keep in mind an artists critique may have no bearing on how well an image will sell. Buyers have a different set of criteria, just ask Terry Redlin or Thomas Kinkade.”
I think the giving and receiving of an honest critique is invaluable. It helps you to look at the work from a different perspective. (Keep in mind an artists critique may have no bearing on how well an image may sell. Buyers have a different set of criteria. Just ask Terry Redlin or Thomas Kinkade.)
Now I had also discussed the painting with another artist friend (who no longer participates in our art group.) She also happens to specialize in equines, and made some good and valid points on things that would have improved the painting. (AND she did it without bashing me about.)
Hey, I think I’ve just been mugged.
So back at art group, I intently listened to see if I could understand what she felt so strongly about. But after 10 minutes or so, I kinda shut down to whatever point she was trying to make. And after 15 minutes, all I wanted, was for it to be over.
As she was talking, I just kept wondering what I had done to piss her off enough, that she felt she needed to take me down a peg or two. The voracity and tenacity with which she spoke left me completely gobsmacked. This did not resemble a creative critique. This felt much more like a mugging
Her comments took me so by surprise I was unsure how I felt about it for days. This is unlike me. Working the art festivals I’ve gotten used to the occasional person saying something “less than flattering,” I barely notice. Generally, there are hundreds of others telling me how brilliant I am, (which oddly enough, also begins to be meaningless after awhile.)
“This did not resemble a creative critique. This felt much more like a mugging.”
To be clear, I am okay with her not liking my painting. She is certainly entitled to her opinion. In the end, I think what bothered me the most was that this (donating a painting) was a good thing that I did. I mean it’s not like I just gave them any old horse painting laying around, I went there, photographed the horses and created a painting specifically for them for a fund raiser and gave it to them. All during an extremely difficult time in my life. (though I have not talked of it on the blog, she is well aware of how things are.)
So instead of being able to talk about the experience of creating the work and donating it, I was stuck listening to a diatribe about how I ruined the painting, and how it would have been better if I had stopped working on it, pretty much shortly after I started it.
And the last kick in the butt was, because everyone got to hear how messed up it was, by the time I actually pulled a picture of the painting out, the only other comment I got was “oh, (with a hint of surprise) thats not so bad.”
Tomorrows post will finish up my story and talk about moving on through adversity. Also, I am still working on the giclee posts (at the moment it is in 3 parts, but may yet get larger.) Plus I am trying to finish up my Apple ‘n Oats article which has a Sunday deadline.
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