I was so excited while at work today to be contacted by the 557 Artist Block gallery in Penticton that one of my little Quail's Egg paintings had sold and was heading out to Newfoundland! That is always such an amazing feeling. Especially as art sales have been a little slow for 2015. The 557 is a great gallery and the owner, Vaelei Walken-Brown, works hard to promote artists in the Okanagan.
I had some personal doubts at the end of summer - as most artists do - about what I was doing ? Should I be showing? What is going on with my art? We all know that feeling. I was thinking of leaving the gallery. Leaving the art sale game all together. Gathering in all of my art work that was out for sale in the world and hiding it at home. It just didn't feel good enough or I was good enough or that anyone liked it or me. Seriously - these are thoughts that I have had about my work and I know other artists do as well from time to time. They are not easy thought to have, but they will either propel you into something new, or derail you from doing anything.
Vaelei was really great about reminding me about sticking with it and keeping the faith. Yes, not everyone is going to love everything that I do. In fact, some folks might be turned off by it. But others will love it, and love me, and want to see more of what I create. So I stayed. And I thought about what I was doing. And I started doing something new. Working in new ways with new materials. Stretching myself. Stretching the tools and the medium.
I also started giving back through the WE: Inspire program. I work part-time at a not for profit and I brought my skills in to share with the women that take services there. I shared, they shared, we played and it was awesome. Nothing to do with sales, critiques or meaning - pure fun being in the flow of creativity.
We all have ups and downs as artists. Be sure and surround your self with quality people and mentors who can look at what you are doing objectively and give you constructive feedback about what you are doing. And maybe not take it so seriously. Sales are fabulous and I would love more of them for sure - being happy in my process and being able to share it with others - that is priceless.
Keep the Faith & Happy Painting :)
557 Artist Block
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- Tags: 557 Artist Block, Art Advice, Art Inspiration, Bethany Handfield, Bethany Handfield Creative Arts, Encaustic, Encaustic Paintings, Exploring Encaustic, Exploring Encaustic with Bethany