Monday, February 2, 2009

Confidence (or Lack Thereof)

Jan Gibson

I suppose this post goes hand in hand with the last one but in a whole different direction. Someone once said that it was just pride to get all upset over what someone says to, or about, you. They are right.

It's really no fun when someone doesn't like or puts down what you do but it is pure pride to react with other than a shrug and a comment something to the effect "to each his own."

The old "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me" just isn't true. Words can be as bad as a sharp stick in the eye and if I felt a little hurt over digital painting being referred to as cheating, then think of what a kick in the teeth it is when your most ardent fan doesn't like something you've done!

My husband is the most wonderful person in the world. He's so supportive and just goes out of his way to make sure I have the supplies and time I need to paint. He's infinitely patient if I'm "in the zone" while painting and haven't even thought about supper. He also almost always likes everything I paint.

So, it was a real kick in the teeth to have worked hard on the daffodil above only to hear him say that he didn't really like it. I'm not a huge fan of the colors of orange and yellow and they're his favorites so I thought for sure he'd like this, especially since he also likes daffodils - a lot. But no, not this one.

When asked why, he said he really didn't know, but when I pressed him further, he said it was the dark background, that most of my florals had dark backgrounds and he really didn't like them.

Well, I happen to like the contrast of light against dark and just like dark backgrounds for many florals although I have done several with lighter backgrounds. And I think I should trust my instincts and not be so concerned about what people think, even my husband.

To be honest, I don't have a lot of confidence when it comes to watercolors. They are sometimes (a lot of times) a struggle and I'm never sure if what I've done is pleasing in any way. I'm usually not even sure if I'm pleased and I'm supposed to be the one with the vision for the painting!

But this painting I did like - I know what I wanted to "say" with it and felt that it got said. The dark background was a necessary part of the message which is basically light from the darkness. This is a kind of common theme with me, most of the time unintentional, so many of my backgrounds are very dark.

With the daffodil above though, I saw it almost as a candle shining in a dark place. Kind of hokey, maybe, but, as I said, I really like that kind of contrast. I also know there's always a tiny ray of light somewhere even when it appears totally black around us.

So, I resolve to trust my inner guidance from here on out and not be swayed by either the likes or dislikes of the viewers. After all everyone has a right to their own opinion.


~Barbara~ said...

You go girl!
Have you ever thought about getting a soap box? You'd make a great, no, make that a really great orator.
I just love your stand on stuff... I'll have to get my latest girl up, goes right along with what you are saying.
Oh, and by the way, I like your daffodil.

Jan said...

Thanks! You probably won't like this but I'm seriously thinking of becoming a preacher or at least blogging on the Bible - does that count as being a great orator? After all, that's usually where my stand on stuff comes from!

~Barbara~ said...

Whatever floats your Ark is fine by me. You would make a good one......

Jan said...

You're so funny! Very appropriate to say "Ark" instead of "boat"!

Teresa said...

Wow! When I first saw your daffodil pop up (before I read your commentary under it) I immediately thought it was beautiful. Really. It's so delicate .... has an Old Master's look to it. Two thumbs up! (tell the hubby to go watch TV!):-)

Jan said...

Thanks, Teresa, I appreciate the kudos on this one as I did like it. Not only will I tell DH to go watch TV but I'll hang this painting right above it! lol