Way back in my early thirties, I walked out of an art gallery feeling completely foolish.
Moments before I had eagerly entered, pushing my baby in his pram. Each Monday morning, while doing the shopping, I would pass this particular gallery and savour all the beautiful paintings, dreaming of the day mine would hang there. So this particular morning, I took a deep breath and walked up to the owner:
“Could I show you my paintings when I come again”… I asked, my heart beating in anticipation.
She looked at me, her nails and hair beautifully manicured.
“What exactly do you paint?”
“I love creating landscapes.”
“Well I think you need to come back to me in your late forties or fifties. People don’t mature as artists till then.”
My smile began fading but I bravely answered: ” I have just completed a landscape painting workshop. Could I please show them to you.”
“Come back when you are older.”
She walked away.
I began bending down, trying to find something to do, my face burning with embaressment and hurt. I imagined there to be a dummy lying somewhere I needed to find for my son.
Finally when I couldn’t continue facing the floor, I swivelled the pram the other way and left.
And never returned.
I never ever forgot her words.
But mostly I never forgot the feeling I received behind her words.
That I was not good enough.
Well I am very late forties now … and I have never stopped painting despite how her words felt.
A few years later, in my eagerness to “get recognized” I approached another gallery – this time with beautiful garden scenes.
I was told to leave my paintings there.
I was called back to be informed that the owner had consulted with another artist who decided that they didn’t know “where the light source was actually coming from”.
I awkwardly tried to explain the issue of the “light source”
Again, I hung my head,
This time, leaving with my precious paintings, feeling so very sad.
Two years ago, I bravely stood in line, with 2 paintings under my arm to hang at Kirstenbosch Gardens. I was now a proud member of the South African Society of Artists. Surely this means I would be taken seriously now.
A fellow member smilingly looked at my lady painting and said: “One day you should try some classes.”
Listening to that inner wisdom
Creativity through painting is feeling deeply personal right now.
It cannot be “judged” for acceptance and approval any longer.
I have spent my whole life waiting for this approval.
TILL… I was Guided to begin painting intuitively. Suddenly a new feeling emerged in me. Painting is becoming a spontaneous expression from my heart. Even when an image is the final product, there is so much more behind that image. Something that can reach into the heart of the viewer as well.
Suddenly I KNOW this to be the purpose of my paintings.
Suddenly I know I have permission to express my own personality and essence through my creations.
I believe many are frightened to begin picking up a paintbrush or dipping their fingers in paint…. because there are so many expectations of what “should be correct”.
This is why I offer so much gentleness and awareness of the process itself when someone comes to paint with me.
I am so grateful that I never stopped painting.
I am so grateful that others can receive something different from me to what I had received.
PS: I am opening up space for you to join me painting via Skype. Moms are interested in their daughters doing the Nurturing your self esteem class too.
You may send me your email to receive weekly inspiration and details of these sessions.