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  • Writer's pictureJeny Brill Art

What is confidence?


Shangri La, 14"x11", acrylic on wood panel


As a middle child I have often been proud of my efforts to forge my own way in life. There was a day in my life where I sold everything, drove across country and took up residence in Berkeley, CA (without a job or apartment lined up). Or the time I left college to take myself camping across Canada, alone. Being an artist, however, is my greatest challenge. There are days I feel anchored to the world and confident in my abilities as an artist. With each new painting comes a "high" of sorts. "I did it!", I say to myself. "I like that, I can paint, I'm proud of myself", I think. Then there are times when I ask myself, "what's my purpose?", "is this any good?" and, "is this really what I want to paint?". But when I return to my easel I paint another scene or cottage. The "why's" are tamed, for now, because the image I am creating IS part of my reality and it brings me peace.


Making art, for me, is a solitary experience. My studio is in my home and since it has only been two years since retiring from teaching full time (I was a Montessori, lower elementary teacher but that is for another blog) I have only just begun to build a community of other artists. So how do I persevere in silence? By continuing to paint.


I turned 59 last month. We're never too old to grow. In fact, if you're lucky, growing is like the ocean's tide. Sometimes the tide rolls in and I have a sense of balance and self confidence. Then the tide rolls out and I'm reminded of how important it is to be humbled. What we have is what we've always had, pandemic or not, one day at a time. Make it count!

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Karen Meier
Jul 27, 2020

Wow! How appropriate I read that today-a day when I needed some confidence! Your blog offered me a strong perspective for the day! Thank you! Can’t wait for the next one!

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Jeny Brill Art
Jeny Brill Art
Jul 26, 2020

Will do!

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Melissa Corbett
Melissa Corbett
Jul 26, 2020

Nice post! I love the sense of renewal, that sense of starting out on a new adventure as an artist as an older adult. Like you, I think you can become an artist at any stage of your life! Keep on building that community of artists... I was listening to the ArtTalk podcast today where they were interviewing a Turner prize-winning artist and she said the single most important thing a new artist can do is build up connections with fellow artists. So keep building up those contacts even in isolation!

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