I have wondered how I would make this art thing work. I have wondered who would find interest in my work enough to bring it into their home and make a connection to it. I have doubted myself like the rest of them. I have seen the faces and heard the words from friends and loved ones and complete strangers when I told them my plans and declared “I am going to be a professional artist!”. Some said (while laughing) “what are you going to paint?” Another said “I have this one friend, she’s like, a real artist.” I also heard “Maybe it can just be a hobby business.” Others told me “you should paint this because it will sell” or “paint lighthouses because this is a tourist area and people come for the beaches and the water.”
They were scared for me and I get that, but they don’t know what I know. They don’t know that I cannot possibly give up on this. They don’t know that my art is engrained in my soul and it comes to me and through me (like Elizabeth Gilbert explains in the book “Big Magic”). They don’t know that I am divinely connected to it. Stay with me here - I am not trying to get all “woo-woo” with this, I am speaking from my experiences that cannot be denied.
They don’t know about the time I painted a cedar waxwing bird. I had never seen the bird in real life and upon completing the painting I went out to the woods to snap a few quick photos. They weren’t there when the flock of waxwings greeted me in the trees at that very moment. Nor were they there the day that painting sold and once again, the waxwings greeted me in the trees.
They weren’t there when I painted chubby chickadee in a made up scene. They definitely weren’t there 6 months later as I walked out into the woods to photograph chubby chickadee magnets and entered into the very same scene from the painting. It was a bluebird day with ripened red winterberries and the chickadees fluttered in the trees around me.
They weren’t there the day I sold my first painting to someone I didn’t know online. They didn’t know it was a Venus fly trap painting and I was bringing home a real live Venus fly trap plant from the nursery that very same day. On my way home I stopped at a yard sale and found my easel, nearly unused and exactly what I was looking for. Upon my arrival home, I get notification that the Venus fly trap painting had sold. What an exchange. They were not there for that either.
They especially were not there yesterday when I received a shipment of new insect stickers. It was moths and cicadas. They were not there as I walked outside with Ramona (my dog) and heard the cicadas sing (the first time this year). They were certainly not there as I grabbed my cicada art print and sticker and headed out to the woods to snap a few photos and videos hoping I could get a video with a singing cicada. I couldn’t hear the sound anymore so I stopped to listen on. Bummer….it was gone. Oh well. I looked to my left and what did I see…the crispy bronze molt of a cicada (shed exoskeleton) hanging from a tree branch less than 1 foot from my face (sounds gross but I’m into that kind of stuff LOL). They were not there as I shook my head in amazement.
They were not there and they do not know. Who is the "they" that is holding you back?
Let me also acknowledge here the countless number of people, friends and family members that have shown me unconditional love and support as I stepped into myself. These lovely humans far outweigh any doubters I have come into contact with.
I am so grateful for this life and these experiences and my hope is that they shine through my art and will allow you the permission to cultivate and hear your own truth as well. When you see my art please know that you are seeing a deep part of me whether or not I knew it while I was creating it, it is a reflection of my values. I create because I am called to do so not “to sell,” like "they" may think.
Don’t give up. You know. Trust. Step into yourself. Here is your permission.