Since I have been unemployed for the past few months, my husband and I moved out of Boston and moved to the coast of Maine temporarily. Luckily for me, being unemployed also has its silver lining and I have been able to enjoy the time with my husband and pursue other creative activities like painting.
Back in May, we had stayed in an artist’s studio in South Bristol, Maine. It was so inspiring to walk into Joy’s place and little did I know then how she would impact me.
Fast forward four months and we were living close to Joy and she mentioned she was putting on a “Big and Bold” art class that would be taught by her and another artist in an art studio in Damariscotta, Maine. Was I interested? You bet! I had an absolute blast the first day! I was so excited and felt so inspired working with two wonderful artists and painting alongside others interested in painting as well. I didn’t know it was an abstract art class which was pretty funny 🙂
I did three paintings that first day. Coast of Maine, Sunset at Otis Point, and Bearded Iris.
“Coast of Maine” on paper. My very first abstract painting! Did this in Big & Bold and it’s pretty awful but I decided not to touch any of the 4 that I did in class so I can always go back and see how I’ve hopefully improved over time!
“Bearded Iris” on paper: One of the original four. I was starting to ‘get’ it. 🙂
“Sunset at Otis Point”: My Muse painting. I’ll blog later about this!
On the second day, I came back in and kind of froze. I had thoughts about changing Sunset at Otis Point which is actually my muse painting. I’ll blog about that later. All of a sudden I was frightened, unsure of myself, and started hating my paintings. What was going on?
I started my fourth painting, Christmas Paper, and really hated it. I didn’t know what I was doing and even with the encouragement of Joy and the constructive feedback from Katharina, I felt like a failure. How come I didn’t have the same feelings as the first day? I decided to finish Christmas Paper and not touch any of the other paintings especially Sunset. I was starting to feel a little better and brought home the paintings to show my husband.
“Christmas Paper” on paper: One of the original four. I have a love / hate relationship with this one. My husbands favorite of all four. Go figure!
He really really loved them! And I know him, he would definitely tell me the truth! Funny thing was that Christmas paper (he named it) turned out to be his favorite!
As part of my learning process I now realize that all of the feelings of self-doubt and being so critical of myself are all normal. Every day that I paint I experience ups, downs, love, hate, and finally either joy or, at a minimum, acceptance of the painting and the process I took to get there.
What an incredible experience I’m having and I know how lucky I am to be able to have this time to find my creative self.
Hopefully soon I will be working full-time again but I know that I will never give up my art. It’s now a huge part of me.
Thank you Joy!
P.S. If you ever have the fortunate opportunity to visit the coast of Maine, the Damariscotta mid-coast area is absolutely beautiful. And Joy’s studio only a short distance away. See www.joyvaughan.com for more information.