Many years ago I was briefly mentored by an artist whom I greatly admire. I have always been a little shy, much less so as I grow older, but until fairly recently I felt that way about hanging my work in my own home. For some odd reason I felt that it would appear vain or arrogrant. But she told me to surround myself with my work for two very important reasons:
1. I get to see what is working and what isn't...not to be especially critical but to learn. It's good to see the progression and to decide what to change. It's also good to see when I've fallen into a bit too much of a comfort zone, kind of like manufacturing...when it's time to challenge myself with something new. And, believe me, I am slow to realize this...I think it's because I absolutely love, love, love to paint. I love heavy body acrylics & canvas. I love color. And I love things that are a bit wonky, skewed, imperfect.
2. I get to see the body of work that I have created. It's a good reminder to physically see what it is I accomplish on all my 'play-dates'. When I look around and see what I have accomplished, even through all the times of agony and despair, I realize that what I do actually does have merit. Beauty is necessary, and is definitely in the eye of the beholder. If I don't feel that the work absolutely represents who I am, the things I love, the media, the substrate, the subject matter, then it's time to move on to something new.
If you have an opportunity to be mentored, I recommend taking advantage of it. As an artist it's great to spend time in someone else's studio, to see their work-in-progress, to be guided and encouraged. A real gift.
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