This is when the practice becomes even more important!! Even though I am going through these doubts I still show up to the studio and work. The structure and discipline of doing this gives me stability and hope. As long as I still do this I have a chance to continue making a living as an artist. Now during this time I have contemplated whether I should be a Mixed Media Artist or a Fine Artist. Does fine artist mean that I am classically trained and know how to paint traditionally with excellent drawing skills knowing every inch of the human anatomy (especially since my focus is figures and portraits). If I hold onto that definition than I am not a Fine Artist. I went to school and received a BFA in Fiber Arts. I took many classes on painting and drawing but really didn't learn that much in those settings. I found that I liked making paper and creating textural pieces of art as well as weaving. I was able to use my degree to be a textile print designer for the apparel business. My biggest fear was they would find out I couldn't draw or paint , but actually I couldn't but some how I was able to have this career for 20 years so I was very successful at hiding my "lack of skills". I truly believed this and it was partly true. I always was terrified that when people asked me what I did that telling them I was artist and then asked to draw something for them! Now I could render but I couldn't really draw especially on the spot!! O.k. enough of my low self esteem. ;-)
Oh as I am writing this post I see a thread on Facebook on this exact topic! We really are all connected. What a gift to connect and support each other.
When I start to doubt myself I have to actually look back at what I have been able to create for the past 4 years. First I had to learn how to really paint, which I did, but not in a studio. I learned in an online class. It took me a good year of working like a mad woman to get better. I was asked to create an online class. That meant I had to learn how to film myself painting, editing and producing my own classes. Within the next year I had 2 or 3 online classes developed. I was then invited to teach live all around the country and I am now planning my first overseas workshop in Orvieto, Italy. Not bad...right? Here is a link to this workshop http://www.adventuresinitaly.net/f16thompson.html
So I said I couldn't draw, well I got a art journal and started drawing. Here are some of my drawings.Drawing now has become my creative meditation. I love this practice.
I am working on a new online class which will be hosted by Jeanne Oliver. The class starts in June. I named this class Children of the Wild. The class will focus on children and their relationships with animals. I have created little nursery rhyme stories for each painting. It has been so much fun doing research and creating this class. I was able to collect so many beautiful vintage photos of children and their pets that have inspired some of this work. Here is just a few of the projects I have going.
I am now experimenting with oils. This is a piece I created in oils using in a mixed media (there is that word again ;-)) way. Charcoal and oil on watercolor paper.
Here are two portraits I created in oil.
Well I am off to paint. Oh, and while I was going through the downward spiral I received an email that two of my paintings in Ciel Gallery were sold!