Or should I say a vegetable day? my desire to keep painting seems strong at the moment. Am I enjoying it, Yes, absolutely. Am I pleased with the results, absolutely not !! this is the perfectionist in me, its such a hard task master to have this running all the time. Never ever feels good enough. For years, nearly 30 years I have been an interior designer and its only been in last 2-3 years that I can say I am interior designer and not feel a fraud. My creativity has taken many forms over the years, from drawing and watercolour sketches, to making things with my hands, cutting paper, clay work, collage, oil pastels, dry pastels, oil paint sticks but when it comes to painting, there is a lot of doubt that comes up. Not Good Enough, is the foremost one and most times it hampers the start, so recently with the urge to pick up my paintbrushes, oil paint and so on and keep painting is rather new to me. Its normally paint one or two, dont like them and put paints away for a few months.
Painting is a great teacher, it brings up so much for me that I can now sit and watch and see exactly what is happening as it unfolds. self doubt, conversations on size, whether to make it abstract or representational. Then there is the conversation about the cost of oil paint these days, absolutely ridiculous prices and like everything else now we have these small artisan workshops making specialist paints that are even more costly. One thing that has changed my painting though is Rosemary’s handmade brushes. I had never heard of an Egbert brush before, but these together with large long flats are helping me obtain the brushstrokes that I desire. To know they are handmade in Yorkshire make using them feel even better !
SELF DOUBT, oh how I know these words so well. Today I watched someone talk about their fears, their face showed so much pain and as the conversation went on this person crumbled before my eyes and all because that crippling self-doubt reared its ugly head. There are two schools of thought here, one to FIGHT against it, drive through it, beat it with your will and battle through triumphantly. this may work in the moment but long-term it never allows us to understand what is behind it and accept that sometimes we cannot change things. The other way is to sit with it, watch the feelings develop and at the point where is becomes too painful don’t run, don’t find away to run away from the feelings, feel what its like and let it take us to a place of darkness where those rich seams of gold exist, Its only allowing ourselves to really feel what is going on that we realise that perhaps there is nothing to fear after all?
I have learnt to manage these feelings in most areas and over the years my real sense of self-worth has escalated, but now and again those feeling of self-doubt still trips me up and about a month ago it reared up again big time. I was attending the opening launch of a project I completed back in the winter it took over 3 years to come to fruition and for my client it has been great success. I felt very proud of what my company had achieved. The night before I struggled with what to wear, struggled with the feeling of not wanting to be surrounded by people and somehow felt a fraud. Spent a sleepless night trying to think up all manner of reasons I could put forward for not attending. Even walking on Paddington station to catch the train to Bristol I was still in flight mode, but I smiled and chatted with other attendees and once I entered the building I managed to get through it, but I felt really uncomfortable, all because I had really strong feelings of not being good enough. I imagine nobody had any inkling of what was going though my head as they all complimented me on the designs, kissed me on the cheek and have me hugs. Think this has been the story of my life really, the real me for the most part had been hidden.
Do these feelings resonate? Is it something to do with creative people, are we extra sensitive?