Recently in one of the online art groups I’m in, someone posted one of “those” posts…the ones we’re really not supposed to post. You know, the “I’m sorry but I’m just a beginner…”, “I know this isn’t really very good…”, “I wish I were as talented as others…”
Oh, can I identify! I remember starting this blog and cringing at the thought of others actually seeing my childish attempts at creating art. I remember time after time thinking — and saying — “I know this is awful…”
Why is it always so easy for us to be so critical of our art?
In response to the poster in this particular online group, another member replied with these words: Art isn’t about being better than anyone else; it’s about enjoying what we create.
I want to always remember that. I’m glad that through blogs and online groups, I can see many different styles of artistic expression. Some I love; others aren’t quite my cup of tea, so to speak, yet I can still see the beauty and joy those drawings and paintings express.
Am I having fun with my art? Most of the time, yes. I’ll admit I still have those discouraging days when a painting didn’t turn out quite the way I’d hoped, those times when my colors just don’t look right, those moments when I ask myself all over again whatever made me think I could ever be an artist!
Fortunately, that doesn’t happen so often now as it did in the past. Instead, I look at my paintings with a sense of wonder. “Did I do that?” I ask in my best Steve Urkel voice. Sometimes I step back from a drawing or painting, surprised but pleased that I really like what I see. And best of all, sometimes I catch myself having fun while I’m sketching, doing a watercolor, or — most amazing of all — with a sketchbook and pen in hand!
Yes, that’s right. I’m enjoying Inktober in all the ways I would never have expected! Instead of being intimidated by the ink, I’m happily scribbling all over the page with it. Instead of tightening up and worrying about every stroke, I’m letting go, loosening up, and feeling freer with my artwork than ever before!
Here is another of my Inktober drawings. Yes, I got a bit too heavy-handed when I pulled out the “B” size pen from my Faber-Castell set. But, even so, I had fun. I just stopped worrying about the result and made marks on the page. It felt so good!
Later, after I’d scanned the drawing into the computer to share it here, I got inspired all over again, went to my Paint program, and added a bit of color. My next stop was “Foto Flexer” to round the edges.
I like it. It’s bright. It’s colorful. It’s pumpkins! I love pumpkins. Apparently I’m not the only one. Within moments of posting this image to Facebook, I was getting ideas and requests.
- Why not put this on notecards?
- Why don’t you start an Etsy shop?
- I want one of these!
- Will you make one for my son’s room?
Who knew art could be so much fun! I suppose that’s the most important lesson I’ve learned since I took a deep breath that June night in 2015 and said “I have to learn to draw.”
Of course, I’m still realistic enough to know that I won’t like everything I draw or paint, and most likely there will be a few days in Inktober where I start questioning why I ever agreed to do the challenge.
Until then…I’m going to keep on having fun!