Sunday, March 08, 2009

Flying Girl Takes Off, or Every Road Block is a Stepping Stone

Flying Girl Takes Off, or Every Road Block is a Stepping Stone
Golden Fluid Acrylics on paper, 5"x8"

This is a departure for Flying Girl. It's far more painterly and far less cartoony. This was actually intended to be an underpainting, but there was something about it that made my heart go a pitter pat, and that is a sign that I am at a moment of YES. This is that same thing that happened when I was painting that double portrait commission and I realized I liked what was supposed to be the underneath and ended up leaving it exposed.

I questioned again and again if I should add to it, paint in the outlines, put in the banner with the title as I'd planned, add the detail of all the things she sheds on that trek up the blockade. Even fixing the smudges on her head and leg, or giving her hair or any of that.

But I like how she is disappearing into the air, almost as if she is becoming part of her true element. I think I like it just as it is. What do you think?

This painting was inspired by 9th chapter in the 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women-- a chapter that I really resonated with. Transcending Rejection and Roadblocks. I haven't even finished the chapter because I just started going off in all directions that I had felt stuck in.

You see, I don't really believe in that thing called creative block or writer's block or whatever you call it. It's just a period of time where you need to focus on something else, or get over your fear or keep working even though you're confused. It's a moment that is telling you something else needs to be done. Maybe you've gone off track, maybe you've gotten to the heart of the matter and it frightens you.

It's all a mindset, you see. And in life, I am learning the same thing. All these setbacks in finances or housing or emotional stumbles or losses when you thought you'd win? Sure, they suck, but if we can get the right attitude about them, we can parlay the disappointment into the forward momentum to take us to the next step, which might just be what we really need. And will also help us to get over the disappointment. There's no need to drown ourselves in our failures, in how we can't write or we are afraid or we are so broke there's just no hope. That attitude is what gets us stuck. Instead, if we can objectively see what where we are, failures and all, what we still need, and what we need to get there.... or even just one step we can take, if we can't understand the whole journey, then we don't get stuck. Don't focus on the stuckness, focus on the possibilities.

Sometimes failing just means we take our lumps and our lessons and are stronger for the next thing. Sometimes climbing up that roadblock makes it so we are able to get the lift off to fly.

I'd like to translate this feeling about artistic and life roadblocks into dealing with rejection.

See, if I can do it with life and with writing a novel, I should really be able to handle the possible rejection of my art and my writing from the wider world. Publishing. Selling art.

Like they say, there's no way to bake a cake without cracking a few eggs. I need to crack some eggs of my safe feelings... my comfort hiding... and get out there in the world to try to fail better.

I want my goal to BE to fail. Because for most of my life, my goal has been to avoid failure, so I have avoided trying.

Can't I take my lessons that I learned from my art and put them into my career?

I say yes, yes I can.

In fact, I did. I finally opened up my etsy shop, and if you want to buy a Flying Girl, you can step right over there and snap one up. I don't have them all listed yet, but I am selling limited edition prints to the wider world. If there's one you fell in love with over here and you'd like to buy it but it's not for sale yet, just leave me a message here or convo me on etsy and I can get that one up, too.

I'm sorry. Did I just say I DID IT???

Holy Cow. No more delays, folks. No more promises. It's up and running.

Oh, and I already sold my first print! Yay me!

This calls for a key lime margarita.


Carmen said...

I love this painting!

LissaBee Creations said...

I am so happy for you, Rowena! Congrats on the etsy shop.

ina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LissaL said...

You are taking off in a new direction! Doesn't it feel good? Congrats to you! Leapn2life!

Enchanted Dawn said...

I like this painting just the way it is-- its like she's letting go and about to fly...

Congrats on your etsy!

septembermom said...

Congratulations on your shop! I'll definitely stop by and take a look at your fabulous prints!!

Anonymous said...

That is awesome. Congrats on the etsy shop. I'm going there when I'm online at home! Way to go.

Donna said...

I've recently discovered your blog and love your writing. Today's post resonates with me deeply as I recently got rid of my fear of failure and made a conscious decision to just do it (write) mistakes and all. Congratulations on selling your print. Your paintings are amazing. Enjoy your margarita.
Donna x

sarah said...

It's funny you mention artist's block. Yesterday was difficult. I started and completed a painting, which I was not happy with at all, then spent the rest of the day wandering. Wandering around in my mind, my house, through books...feeling very discouraged. Then this morning I got up and painted 'Spiral Betty' which I'm quite pleased with. I believe you have to just keep at it, most of all when you don't feel like it.

ConverseMomma said...

Oh, I would buy this. I am going to go directly to your esty shop. I would hang this painting over the bed in my baby girl's room to remind her that every feat is worth the fall. Lovely.

Genie Sea said...

Congrats on the etsy shop! I bought two :)

jessica swift said...

OK, there are too many things to be excited about in th is post. First: that painting is GORGEOUS. LIke, my favorite that I've seen of yours so far. It's amazing. Second, I must have that book! I've never even heard of it. Have I been living in a cave? And third, AN ETSY SHOP? YES! I'm going to check it out right now. Huge congrats on the first sale- yippee!!

jessica swift said...

OK, congrats on your first 6 SALES!! That's awesome!!

Lisa PN said...

That painting captured all of my thoughts and feelings about this subject and simply put it into a beuatiful image. How refreshing!

I would love to buy a print of this work, but don't see it in your shop!

You post reminds me of an old friend that told me, "Girl, if there were no days of blue, you could never look up to the bright sky so high when the sun shines!"

We need both, dark and light.

Thank you for this post!

Rowena said...

Wow, thanks for a ll the well wishes and wonderful comments. Pardon me if I'm not so good at commenting right now, I am caught up in a whirlwind, what with all the work of finally opening the shop and actually SELLING stuff.

I think I'm being confronted with some long held beliefs about not being able to make money with art.

But that is neither here nor there.

I will put this painting up today, as soon as I finagle the time to edit the photos and list. Maintaining a shop is a lot of work!

Square-Peg Karen said...

WOW! Am going to the etsy shop right after I write this - hurrah for YOU!

you wrote this in the post: "Don't focus on the stuckness, focus on the possibilities."
...THANK YOU! i read something by a mentor - who is usually fearless..talking about the financial situation - and I could feel fear in the writing..made me sad, started to shake my resolve (i've been doing what you said..focusing on the POSSIBILITIES)..your post brought me back to center..thanks!!

Vineeta said...

Congratulations!!!! That's a BIG step! Reading your post feels like listening to me speak my deepest thoughts out loud & i so admire your courage for taking all of us along on this journey, for acknowledging your fears and concerns & taking them on head on.
This will be the start of a new way of living, this will mean freedom for you in so many ways :) YE!!!

D said...

I love the painting just the way it is. Smudged, with no outlines. It is so ephemeral and filled with energy and life. Make more like this one.

I love how you say "I liked what was supposed to be underneath and you ended up leaving it exposed." In the end it is real vulnerability that makes us connect with one another.

Leah said...

Woot!! Many congrats to you on the opening of your Etsy shop!! Yay!!

I totally agree with you about the mindset thing and creative "blocks."

And I'm also loving the painterly, dreamy feel of your latest flying girl.


Missy said...

Congratulations on your opening and sale! Your work is so inspiring! I can't wait to see what you come up with next.

Unknown said...

oh my gosh! you did it! I've just browsed through the entire thing and I love it! Are you selling the prints (I would think it wouldn't be the originals at that price, right? Otherwise you better be charging more!!!)

This is so amazing. What an inspiration!!

I simply love you!!

Heather said...

I have a stack of rejection letters from publishers, galleries, theatres and for grants. When I get them, at first they sting. It's gotten easier. Every now and then I come across the file while doing other work and hold the fat stack and cry, but then it passes.

It's actually been so much easier to accept criticism and rejection in the past couple of years I can scarcely believe it! :)

Best of luck in all your endavors!

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