This is the bottom part of that new piece I finished this weekend. I had posted this whole piece and wrote about it but then deleted it because I have not been coming from a place of strength lately. It is the first piece of art I've made this summer; now that people are gone and I can begin to crawl back into my creativity I feel like I am starting from scratch.
There is truly nothing worse than someone who doesn't believe in themselves. Nothing worse than someone not having the courage to BE. Yesterday's post about the wimp had me reliving my childhood and the memories of fear and anxiety flooded me. I never felt like I belonged anywhere and never felt like I could understand what was going on. I wasn't encouraged to be anything, rather a heart to heart with my dad after high school led to him suggesting I work at the KRAFT factory (my sister meanwhile was encouraged to attend the U of I). Who can blame him, I showed no aptitude for anything and had to do something in life didn't I? I decided to drink and leave home instead.
At some point you have to stop thinking you are a dumb piece of shit. I have had plenty of moments in life where I felt all worldly and confident (most of it was when I was giving massages and people were nude and vulnerable, albeit covered up with a sheet, in the dark and half asleep)..but I felt like a smarty pants when they would ask me to tell them about this or that or what was the latest book I was reading. I was good at something. Really good. People said they had had massages from all over the world and mine was one of the best. Had debilitating pain not knocked me off center and forced me to quit massage I would still be doing it. I wouldn't be making art.
So I am starting all over again in life. I've got just shy of over two years under my belt of making, showing, selling art. Here I am, twenty six or so years later, acquiring new skills and trying to fill in a completely erased chalk board. Less than two or three people from my past are in touch with me, sometimes I feel like I've moved to another country. I find it still difficult to feel confident about anything in regards to myself. When I dropped off that finished piece at the gallery and the owner was busy and cranky and didn't pay any attention to the piece I felt like shrinking. He has been my teacher in the school of hard knocks. I've had my work dissected and verbally torn apart and sent home with my tail in between my legs. I've been reduced to tears. But it made me stronger and made the work stronger. I was filled with doubt because sometimes I don't even know what my art really looks like.
In the post I deleted the other day, I was talking about how I have to make the art while it is on the floor, it always looks different when you hang it up. Sometimes in a bad way. But even then I hang it at the bottom of the stairs with only a few feet of floor in front of it. Doors on both sides, stairs in front. It isn't until it is out there in the world hanging somewhere that I get to really see it. I just go by my gut and heart when I put it together. This piece in particular I had my hopes set on it being a certain way and it just wasn't going to work. So while I like the finished product I feel a frustration and desire to find a way to make a piece that has what I wanted to do originally. This is the best solution to this piece, I know it now. It helped that the gallery assistant called yesterday to say they will keep it for the show and she said with reverence, 'it is beautiful'.
Regardless though, I need to keep crawling until I can stand up on my own. That is what this whole art thing is showing me. Have conviction. Have courage. Don't let tongues slice off delicate new layers of hardening skin. Stop thinking and stop worrying. Have some fun for petes sake because it's still better than working at wal-mart.