Sunday, October 3, 2010

Trust? What is this trust you speak of?

Not long ago, I went to spend some time with a couple of very excellent mom friends.  We try to get together once a week to keep our sanity in check.  We vent about our children, our husbands, our lives.  We talk about the funny things that happened that week,  books we're reading, shows that are worth getting from Netflix.  It's 90 minutes I look forward to every week.

I've admitted to everyone I know that I need a lot of attention.  I just do.  I talk a lot.    I've actually gotten better.  It may not seem like it to those who spend time with me, but I have.  I swear! 

My friends had invited a couple of their friends, which is great.  I like meeting new people.  I'm a social sort of person.  One of the women I've met before and like very much.  I was glad to see her.  

I had known that she was completing her Master's in photography but I had never pondered it.  The new person I met was asking her a bunch of questions about getting her degree.  They were questions I wanted to hear the answers to so I was listening intently.  

Then the little voices started to creep in that it was really, really stupid of me to even think about pursuing a career in art of any kind.  I've been thinking very seriously about starting the long road to becmoing an art therapist.  I'll need a Master's, possibly a Ph.D.  to practice.  

However, listening to this very talented woman discuss her final project, paper, and display got me really squirmy about my own talent.  It's not her fault that I have these issues, it's mine.  I'm clear about that.  But my continued need to pinch myself out of feeling any sort of confidence is troubling.  And, of course, my taking to the internet to proclaim that I AM talented and should go after anything I want to do is the most conceited thing I could do.  I'd be fishing for "oh we love you!  Yes, yes you are fantastic!"  and who wants to be that pathetic?  

I finally got the courage to create at almost forty and now I'm trying to talk myself out of it because my stuff might not be everyone's cup of tea.  What was it I told my Brownies?  Don't let anyone tell you your art has no value?  If it has value to you, it's valuable? Isn't that what I said?

Jackson Pollock is understood by very few people outside of the art community.  Rembrant, Monet, Rafael, Cezanne, Zuberon, Van Gogh, Degas, Goya, Picasso hundreds of others as the art museum in Pasadena used to tell us on local Los Angeles area television were there for the general public to appreciate.  Pictures that looked like something that a person could recognize.  Even in Picasso's paintings you could tell what it was he was painting.  It doesn't make Jackson Pollock's work any less valuable or significant.  

But what makes art significant?  Because it sells for a great deal of money and it must be good?  Because the reviewers tell us it is?  Because the artist was tortured, depressed, sex addicted, drug addicted or all of the above?  

Andy Warhol pointed out that art is around us all the time, we just don't see it anymore.  His art was art because he said so.  He proved that it's just that easy.  Here is a Campbell's soup can.  An artist designed this, created this, this is art.  See?   I told you so.  

Children create artwork with no strings attached.  In the children's book "Dot", the main character is told by her art teacher to make any mark on her piece of paper.  She draws a dot.  Her teacher then tells her to sign it.  Now it's artwork.  Our heroine goes on to make bigger dots, colorful dots, textured dots, sculptures of dots.  She finds her artistic voice.  

Then she encourages a boy to make any kind of mark on a paper.  He draws a line.  She tells him to sign it.  Now it's artwork, a place to start finding his voice.  

I've just started to find my voice.  A woman who bought two of my acrylic on paper paintings, told me not to doubt my voice.  Sure, try different tones and pitches, but stay true to my voice.  It will tell me what to say.  

Maybe I'm not right for the Art Institute.  Maybe it's not right for me.  Maybe I'm right for community college first and then trying for the University of Texas program.  Or that process will lead me somewhere else.  Midwifery, a career in the funeral industry, education, who knows?  

These are the most difficult processes for me, trusting, waiting.  I can't do anything but trust myself that it is the way I feel it is.  The possibility of being wrong.  

I can't think of anything more scary.  And since it's frightening, it's probably something I need to do.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  Exfoliate your skin before you shave, wax or use a depilatory to prevent bumps. Exfoliate regularly afterwards to prevent ingrown hairs. 

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