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Knowing Myself, Accepting Myself, as an Artist

You cannot draw and paint frequently and with intensity, without it changing how you know yourself. And with knowing yourself, comes self-acceptance, forgiveness, and eventually, compassion for others. My revelation this past week was that I am less certain that I see the whole picture. I say that with regard to my art, but also with regard to life situations.

I prove it to myself every time I pick up a pencil or a paintbrush. But this past week it was just as clear and obvious in my management of certain sticky business situations. I found I easily was able to let go of a lost cause, when I realized the customer was locked into his perception of the situation andĀ couldn’t see the bigger picture. Ordinarily I would have struggled a good bit providing more information, but in this case, I knew I wasn’t going to change his mind, so I was able to calmly release him to his certainty that my crew was doing a bad job. And in the second situation, the first conclusion of someone having made a bad mistake evolved into someone having nearly hurt themselves badly in making that mistake, and finally to the conclusion that no one made a mistake — the situation was caused by an electrical problem and not humanly caused at all. So by not seizing on the first apparent explanation, and continuing to keep my mind open and not alienate the variously involved people in the process, I eventually was able to reach the truth. I see this as a direct metaphor for how I have to approach my drawing and my painting. I make huge mistakes when I go with my first impression, and then if I am patient with myself and with the process, I can come closer to the truth.

Below are my efforts this past week at our twice-a-month figure drawing session at the Bayou Arts Center of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County.

Warm-up sketch of large nude female standing, hand on hip Warm-up sketch of large female nude, standing Warm-up sketch of large female nude propped on elbows
Warm-up sketch of large female nude, seated Warm-up drawing of large female nude lying twisted with elbow overhead
Large female seated, looking pensive Large female standing Large female seated, leaning forward on elbow

 

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