I was overwhelmed, or maybe underwhelmed. It was a very lazy day. Quiet. Too quiet. So I thought about doing some art work, maybe those canvases I had. And then I heard her. You know, that inner critic that you know you should ignore but gets under your skin? She started off nicely enough.
"That's a wonderful idea. Why don't you do a canvas today?"
"I think I just might."
"Oh but you know, you don't have anything organized right now. And if you start a canvas with the way your craft room looks right now, you'd just create a hot mess."
"Well it probably is a little cramped."
"And you know you didn't get great reviews from your last canvas. Maybe canvas just isn't your thing. You always said you couldn't draw a straight line with a ruler, so what makes you think you can paint."
"But I really feel like doing art today."
"You only have a few days left of vacation. You can't sit on your lazy ass all vacation with just a canvas with some piece of paper you slapped down with glue to show for it."
"It's called collage."
"Call it what you will. It's kindergarten art. It's glue and paper like what you did when you were five. What art did you make? You took paper and slapped it with glue and paint and called it good. Seriously? I know art's in the eye of the beholder, but did you intend on poking out the eyes of everyone who looks at it? Honestly, why you got into this stuff in the first place is beyond me. Mid-life crisis maybe, or trying to find yourself. Everyone lost thinks they are an artist..."
And it went on and on. And I let it. Until I had ground myself down into a self-doubting nobody who should just go back to bed. But I didn't. I decided to post something about how I was feeling. And a friend said to ignore that inner witch and just do it! I'm so glad I did.
I grabbed some of my art supplies and brought them down to the dining room. True enough, with a cramped room I wasn't going to get anything accomplished. And I started with my muse. I love trees, and I love to draw them. They are symbolic of so many good things. So off I went with my tree drawing, and then I started to practice a whimsy girl drawing. I needed to do one. I did it all in ink. I really don't like pencils. They can be erased, and with that wench of an inner critic I have, I'd erase every line off the page because of it being uneven, or misplaced, or too heavy, until I had no lines left and no drawing. So I turn to ink. No turning back. And watercolours. And then my whimsy girl appeared. I felt like I had accomplished something.
And then I decided that it was time I did my first real still life in ink and watercolours. My husband bought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a winter arrangement with pine and mums, daisies and spider mums. And I took to drawing my oversized marble glass vase with the still beautiful flowers.
And I was happy, and proud. I showed that critic. I sat down, and I made art. I had something to show for it. And even if I don't do anything with it at all, it is one of my best works. Because it is the result of deciding to just go for it. Without question, and without expectation.
So now I say to that inner critic, Where are you now? I hope you are on a long vacation and I don't see you until I'm ringing in the next new year.