Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ivy and Gabriel on the Stair Landing and a Project

Ivy and Gabriel on the Stair Landing
Golden Fluid Acrylic, Prismacolor Watercolor Pencil on Canvas 6"x6"

I painted this sometime last week. As a Christmas present. I was inspired by the double portrait I painted for a commission. I think I had been thinking that a portrait had to be painted in a realistic style. I was afraid that my more expressionist conceptual style wouldn't make for a decent portrait. I thought that I couldn't really do a portrait I don't know why I thought that. One of those long held beliefs that come from mistaken assumptions and keep you trapped in your one way of doing things. Oh, the list of "I can't"s is long. But I am working on knocking them out. One by one.

It takes a while to work on this. Sometimes you have to work on it very consciously, doing things like joining the Be Brave Project or taking on challenges that you think are too big for you. Sometimes you take workshops and make lists and read books on how to get rid of your fears and negativity. Sometimes that work goes underground, but is still going on.

I'll tell you one of the things that I have always been afraid of, and it is making my art and my writing for public consumption. Perhaps my blog has turned into my ongoing challenge to myself to take my work public, but it doesn't stop there. Perhaps it was just one step in the direction that I really want to go. As was nanowrimo and AEDM and the Big Draw and all the other things I have been doing.

Now I've moved on to the Portfolio Project, where I commit to twelve weeks towards building a body of work. I'm spending this week figuring out what I want my 12 week portfolio to look like. No matter what the particulars, I've decided that it looks like a professional portfolio. I no longer want to be an avid amateur, or a weekend painter or a novelist who hides her books away in files and lets no one read them. Not even a blogger who does what she does for free, always for free. Yes, I'm stepping up into the world of someone who values her work enough to be paid for it.

The portfolio project combines with all these other challenges I have undertaken and combines with all 38 years of my life to be the work of reaching my potential. It's fricking hard. But I am at a place where I think the hardest work, on allowing myself to be successful, is behind me.

Now that my work has been done on myself, I just have to set it all into action.

Instead of being overwhelmed at that thought, I am just going to do the work and go step by step, rather than head into the land of "I can't."

If you could imagine a land without "I can't," what would it look like? If you could tackle your next year and make it into a project that fulfills your potential, what would it look like at the end of twelve weeks? What would it look like at the end of the year?


Robynsart said...

I'm also doing the portfolio challenge, and I'm at the exact same spot you are... figuring out exactly what parameters are right for *me* in this challenge...

m. heart said...

your post always set me to thinking...challenging in a wonderful way. this portrait is really impressive.

Lynn said...

glad you said I can.
You DID!!
And very well in deed!

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