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!