My inner critic was on a rampage all week, and it was a wild ride I tell you! I recognize and own my inner critic as the freeloader that overstays his welcome and is proud about it..
Sneaky and charming, with an opinion about everything, he lounges in my new recliner or stands over my shoulder when I paint or art journal.
I’m used to the bastard and usually kick him to the curb, but this week he stirred up such confusion in my mind I just about had it with art.
First of all, he criticized my every art process with an infusion of “you have no clue what you’re doing” to “what do you know about art, and where’s YOUR focus?” Insidious indeed. He’s emaciated, extremely pale. He wears tight black pants and black turtleneck sweater, and a beret. Kind of a 1960s French hipster, and he smokes evil-smelling cigarettes, blowing smoke up my ass and into my mind.
Why do I ever listen? He’s too clever by far, and sometimes I fall for the bullsh*t because art is an ever-expanding journey that is unsure at best. For the most part I fly by the seat of my pants, which is always frowned upon by all critics, mine and others. Then again, if I did hyper realistic art where every dot counts, the critic would call that unimaginative. So, you can never win, right?
I’m partially to blame for the confusion, but the inner critic stirs the pot relentlessly.
My favorite social media is Instagram and I upload pictures constantly and also scroll the huge variety of art there. It’s such a wonderful place of inspiration.
I have been more and more interested in abstract art, and it’s fun to explore on the canvas, but I can never make up my mind if what I paint feels good / right / complete or not.
I came across some really questionable art (in my opinion, the critic probably liked it because he was silent.)
To me, art needs to either be a colorful feast to the eye or something that tugs at me, something that gives a meaning or emotional connection. Some artists were posting just scratches with colored pencils like the art of a three-year old.
Three-year olds express themselves shamelessly, and I’m all for it. Actually, children’s art always touches my heart because it’s direct and without excuses.
When grown-ups post that kind of stuff and call it fine art, I can’t feel the connection. The question is: is the art conceit or something that touches people’s heart in some way?
Then the inner critic steps in and says “Your art is no better.” I agree that I’m scribbling at times but I would never call it art per se. I might call it “uncertain expression in color” if it needs to be labeled.
When I kick the inner critic out, I don’t need to wonder what is art and what isn’t. All in the eye of the beholder, but my personal preference is art that takes my breath away or inspires me in some way.
Scribbles or rubbings with colored pencils might get an inner eye roll, but hey, to each their own!
Anyway, my inner critic hated all the art above except the last one, but if I have to live with the input from him, I still forge onward since there is no other way but forward on the art exploration journey of my life.
Below are my latest paintings. The critic didn’t chime in much, so I guess they are okay. <eye roll>
Have a great creative weekend, friends!
P.S. The free art journaling 2017 adventure is going strong. You can still catch all the prompts from the previous months. Laura Probert will be our guest artist / writer in April. SIGN UP HERE.