I have a long standing saying when getting uptight about painting, I say "I don't know anyone who has art in a museum and my work will certainly never be in a museum" - it helps me to be free when I paint. I am blessed beyond measure to have brushes, paints, time and health. My zen comes from being lost in time in my studio (a spare bedroom with hardly the professional standards of DMP artists).
I read endlessly, watch every tutorial that peaks my interest, purchase and re-watch over and over again tutorial dvds by the artists I most admire and I try in vain to emulate a tiny part of something in them. I have let criticism and insecurities snuff out my pilot light of creativity many times in my life and know I am more happy when I am drawing or painting and completely free of judgement. I will probably die with an attic and closets full of paintings but my joy has been in the process, not the after. If anything, the after of being judged, someone wanting to purchase, or entering in shows has been the ick that I don't enjoy.
I try to learn from anyone and anywhere if I admire and respect that institution or person. MoMA (Museum Of Modern Art in New York) has some amazing courses online - you can audit for free. You still have to take the tests and pass to go to the next week's lesson but the curators and lecturers are amazing and because I don't care about getting another diploma, I audit every class I can of theirs and could care less about the certificate.
I have just completed an 8 week course - "Post War Abstract painting" - it helped me to understand why so many abstract artists were all the rage for so many decades in the mid 1900s and why so many of the more traditional artists were seemingly brushed aside. I learned a great deal about Barnett Newman, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Agnes Martin, Ad Reinhardt and Yayoi Kusama.
I have never been a fan of abstract art but I thoroughly enjoyed learning. An email was sent out to students who completed the course with an invitation to enter a painting for an upcoming exhibit at the museum. I decided to paint something that encompassed a little bit of each artist that I learned about or that was most memorable to me. It had to be a TIF format and thanks to you wonderful people here, I was able to figure out how to do a TIF (miss you @Kingston
!),and was therefore able to send in my submission.
I received notice that my painting was chosen to be part of the exhibit. I'm sure that they chose many student's works and the exhibit will feature 5 large screens with digital photos of the works. I know it's not like my painting is hanging in a museum but I never imagined in a million years that I would be flying to New York to attend an artist's reception at The Museum Of Modern Art for an exhibit that features one of my paintings.
I'll be skipping with glee and will be full of excitement and will savor every moment because this will probably never happen again.
Thank you for helping me along the way.