Mixed Media Artist

My Path…

What Do You See? 18″x24″ work in progress (mixed media painting on wood)

This is my path …

I was recently dropping off some art to Kaleido, a local festival and was struck by the amount of really good art. Like, REALLY good. I haven’t been working for awhile -boy summer DOES get in the way- and I had grabbed the few painting that I have left so, I wasn’t really feeling GREAT about my offering.


ENTER MY FRIEND … the ego …

When I look at some artist’s work I feel kind of envious because their art is ‘cool’, ‘hip’ or ‘modern’. I think, ‘ I wish I did THAT’. I am sure that we all feel that some time or another, it is a sucky feeling isn’t? I hate feeling envious of someone ‘s life or art. I really try not to, but sometimes it is hard.

So I went home and I was feeling kind of icky in my belly. Bothered. Uneasy. I am sure that some of these feelings were coming from other things as well. I have a show in November that I have to paint …entirely … yikes …and I have several festival shows to get ready for … a lot of work … lucky I have so much spare time …ha, ha, ha!

But you know, I am getting good at kicking that ego out the door. I started thinking about the art I was liking and about my art and I realized that I couldn’t paint those paintings because they weren’t on my path. I am on my own path. Maybe my path isn’t as cool as a twenty somethings path but you know what is even less cool? Painting something that isn’t authentically you. Staying on coarse and painting honestly is always the right choice.

Today, as I work up in the loft for the first time in what seems like absolute ages, I feel really happy. I have all my textures and patterns, ripped up papers and images around me and I feel that even though I didn’t know I was filling the well while I was away, maybe the well was being filled. I have images of the west coast in my head, childhood memories and smells are a little closer to the surface and Emily Carr keeps stopping by. So this is good. This is very good.

I just want to express my gratitude at this turn in my life two years ago when I decided that I was an artist and I better start proving it. As I sit in my studio, I really have accomplished my dreams. How lucky am I? I get to be an artist. Life is good. I can’t tell you all how much I appreciate your support. You allow me to realize my dream to be an artist. Thanks.

I better get back on that path now …

16 responses

  1. Kim Stewart

    How interesting it is to hear that you were feeling exactly the same way I was. I was having a bit of a “creative crisis” this summer where I looked at what other people were creating and felt “less than”. There must have been something in the air, Maria. I followed my little crisis to it’s logical conclusion and realized that their style is not my style! I have to be true to me at all times. I felt much better after that epiphany. I know you do too. I love your work so keep going!

    September 3, 2010 at 7:21 pm

  2. Thank you, Maria, for sharing these feelings. I am sure that every artist has those type of moments. That is why we still paint, we still want to improve AND prove(first of all to ourselves) that we are worthy the word “artist” Thank you for giving me this kick in the bud. BTW your art is great, it is unique, fresh and honest. I love it!

    September 3, 2010 at 7:48 pm

  3. Mary Braet

    Beautifully said…….and oh so true, and the art is beautiful too!!!!!!!!! I am a fan….!!!!

    September 3, 2010 at 9:17 pm

  4. …yep yep yep…you are so RIGHT ON! during my first appearance last month, at my first art walk, at my first gallery…i kept looking at everyone elses work too…hmm, should i be here…blah blah blah…well, why would the gallery owners have asked for my work to be here, for petes sake…etc etc.. it’s always so wonderful for people like you to write those “head dialog’s” down for the rest of us, reassuring when we aren’t the only one…i thank you!
    as for YOUR work, i am in love with it on many levels…and frankly i think it’s quite edgy, in that, no one else’s looks or FEELS like yours…intensely magnificent, truly!

    September 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm

  5. Simply put but so inspirational in its honesty and insight – will surely resonate with so many. I posted this link on Facebook and two artists already clicked “Like” – and I believe that everything you have said applies to writers too (like me!).

    September 4, 2010 at 12:29 am

  6. Shelly

    You nailed it! The ego in all its woes…

    Every experience we have in our life fills our creative well, consciously or unconsciously. If we paint what we know, then our authenticity will come forth.

    September 4, 2010 at 4:36 am

  7. You said that you were envious of “their” art…well, I’ve said to myself that is what I feel, I am envious of your art, your work is so cool and so beautiful and so much love and tenderness comes thru! But as you said also that you came to the conclusion that was “their” path I have said the same recently to myself too. It is so great that artists can so quickly identify these kinds of feelings so quickly and then seem to come to the same right conclusion. Thank you for your open honesty and continue your path as I will continue on my path.

    September 4, 2010 at 10:27 am

  8. Dear Maria,
    After I’ve been away from my easel for a while, even for a short time, it can be a struggle to get back given all the many worries about having forgotten how to paint. But once I get myself back there, the food for my soul quickly kicks in and I’m laughing at myself and wondering why on earth it took me so long to allow myself this amazing feeling of creating! And please always remember that there are those of us out here, who see your work and think, “I WISH I painted like that!” Your work is immediately recognizable, you have a unique and strong style that is only yours. There are all types of personal preferences out there and your paintings fill a niche that only you can. Wishing you blissful creating!

    September 4, 2010 at 12:13 pm

  9. Maria, you’ve expressed so well feelings I’ve had myself. I’m willing to bet most artists have felt that way at low points when seeing other people’s work. I feel it when I see really gorgeous jewellery but it’s good to be reminded that it doesn’t help to compare oneself with others 🙂

    September 6, 2010 at 7:34 am

  10. Maria, As eloquently said by Brenda and Wanda, we envy your work. The way you found your style and path. l love checking in daily and seeing your art. My favorite quote from Martha Graham states… “It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.” I love sharing that quote, because I have to keep reading it over and over myself.

    September 7, 2010 at 4:37 am

  11. Wow, thanks everyone. I feel bad for not responding to all of these wonderful and insightful comments earlier but you have really taken my breath away. I think I must have the smartest, most eloquent and articulate blog readers in all the land!

    September 7, 2010 at 6:51 pm

  12. Yes I know how you have been feeling, returned to my studio yesterday after a long absence, summer got in the way, it is always the same feeling in the pit of my stomach after an absence from my inner soul, am I really showing my true self in my work?, do I need to re-evalute my life?, is it too late to show my true self and am I capable as as artist to really touch the inner souls of others?

    well a heck of a lot of questions here! guess if I never have all the answers to them it is not really too important in the great scheme of things, but I lanquish in the thought that I still ask myself the questions, maybe this means I am not too old to balance my questions and the ego looms large once again.

    hugz Aunty Pat

    September 12, 2010 at 8:43 pm

  13. Never too old Pat … it is an ongoing learning experience. Just thinking today about making it fun. It has to be fun. That is really important. People sense honesty, I know this, but they also sense when you are playing and having fun. It is your passion right? Well, time to turn up the heat and be passionate!

    September 13, 2010 at 3:54 am

  14. Lorna Thomas

    Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your painting “The Wallpaper Jungle” at the Kaleido festival. In terms of having an uneasy feeling about art…check out the TED talk by the woman who wrote “Eat, Pray, Love.”

    September 15, 2010 at 9:56 pm

  15. Thanks Lorna, funny you mention it, I posted that on my blog earlier this year!


    All the best,


    September 16, 2010 at 12:37 am

  16. Or late last year, rather.


    September 16, 2010 at 12:37 am

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