After my big revelation of a few days ago that I would be returning to painting, I sat down in front of small canvas to begin sketching the “bones” of the painting.
I sat there quite a while.
Nothing. The blazing white of its gesso-primed face glared back at me. Ordinarily, I would find a blank canvas inviting and inspirational. But not this time. No ideas were forthcoming. I began sketching, then erasing, sketching some more, erasing even more so.
Finally, it occurred to me that I was just plain scared. After all, I had put myself “out there” on this blog declaring that I was going to start painting again after so many years, blah, blah, blah, yaddity, yaddity. And now I was going to have to live up to this expectation that I laid on myself.
What I have, it seems, is a bad case of stage fright.
So what’s up with that? Anybody who has been around the SFC blogs long enough knows that I don’t cringe about putting up the good, the bad, and the truly terrible.
This morning I was reading chapter 9 in Estes’ Women Who Run with the Wolves. She writes that oftentimes women have had some sort of “theft” occur in the lives that leaves this psychically disconected from themselves. It leaves them “homeless” in a way. I think in my case the thing that has been stolen from me is “confidence.” Recently, I have started to muse upon what my life would been like if I had had mentors earlier in my life. Instead I was surrounded by naysayers who said, to the effect, that “artists are lazy, artists are weird, artists don’t amount to anything in life even if they are good, and you, by the way, are not a good artist.” With a healthy confidence in myself and my abilities, where would I have ended up? Is it too late to develop it? Can I find my way “home” to a safe place where I can develop that confidence that was stolen from me?
This is worth exploring more. At the moment, though, I have a canvas that needs attention. Back to it.
L. Gloyd (c) 2009