There are days when I wonder why I wanted to pursue being an artist.
Then there were days like yesterday which made me remember.
Other artists can relate I'm sure, to those days that you sit there staring at your own work (whatever the medium), wondering at what point you lost the love for it. You know that pivotal moment, when you've come too far and invested too much effort to scrap it, but you don't know if you can save it.
Well, the old me would have just scrapped it. I hate to admit it, but I have a history of being a quitter. I have a closet full of unfinished projects that I enthusiastically started on, only to have the perfectionist in me not like the way things were turning out, and abandon it. Don't get me wrong, there are a number of projects that I did finish, but I think that was because I was ultimately happy with the way they turned out.
Enter "new and improved" me. I have learned to listen to criticism (even my own), interpret it into my work and become a better painter. The satisfaction that is gained when someone sees your work and you witness the emotional response it invokes in them, is worth all the criticism in the world.
So on to yesterday.
As some of you know, I'm preparing to paint a portrait of Bozley, a Bouvier des Flandres, who holds a special place in the heart of my biggest fan (MBF). Bozley passed away of old age about 5 years ago, but when he talks about Boz, there is still a twinkle in his eye. Boz is the dog that all other dogs in the world are measured by.
I have been doing my photo research gathering images of Bozley and other bouvs so that I can start sketching out my next painting. Yesterday, MBF had a bad day. A really bad day. He had to go out for the evening, so I spent the time while he was out finding pictures of Boz and printing out enlargements and I left them right where he would find them when he got home.
He found them right away, and after a few moments of silence, he came around the corner with a smile on his face. Probably the first smile of his day.
That is the very reason that I want to be an artist. If my work makes just one person conjure up memories that makes them smile, then it was worth every minute of effort that went into it.
Thanks especially to MBF, for helping me become "the new me".