It takes courage to show your work
2 weeks ago I organized an exhibition for my students in the castle of Rolle . What an excitement for all of us and I am so proud of them. But an exhibition can be experienced in so many different ways. It went from 'one of the best days ever' for some, to completely loosing confidence for others. It did not happen to many but my heart just went out to them, since it takes so much courage to present our work and it can make one feel so vulnerable.
Looking at the paintings with new eyes
Once our paintings are hanging on the wall next to others, in a new environment, it almost feels like we can look at them with eyes of a visitor. I remember seeing my paintings next to a established painter and was thinking.. oh dear...I am not ready at all to be in this type of Gallery. There is so much I need to work on..
What we are painting today, is what we are capable of doing TODAY but with practice and constant learning we will improve and already in 6 months, this can be completely different. I take it as a motivation to work even harder and learn constantly.
One of my students also looked at her paintings and thought, why am I painting 'birds' so often. I much prefer abstracts! Well she shouldn't feel bad about it. She was so inspired to paint birds last year and moved on. If you feel like that about your paintings, don't dislike them, it is just part of who you were before. We all change and so change our inspirations. A great revelation, if you feel what direction to go next.
You can't please everyone
The reality is, some people will like our creation others won't. But don't we do the same? If you go to an art show with 30 painters. How many paintings do you really like, not just admiring the technique, meaning, you wish to take them home? Let's give that freedom also to others without feeling hurt, if we are not everybody's cup of tea.
The 'trolls' of the expos
I don't know if you have come across some but they do exist! Some people just have no clue about art, don't realize how we put our heart into our work or simply left all their good manners at the front door. Thank God there are not many of them!
Selling or not
To sell, you not only need quality work , it also has to do with being in the right place, at the right time with the right people. If a painter provides what people need at that specific point in their life and what resonated within them, than it just works. I have seen fantastic artists not selling anything and others that could have sold the same painting 3 times.
(I am only talking here about sales to people we don't know. Personal connection build over the years is a whole other story.)
A true connection
Besides all that comes the incredible experience, when someone is moved by a painting, entering our world and really understands, or makes it their own truth. I love the exchange that happens on a day like that. Many of my students were astonished by the compliments and encouragement and also by all the guests that showed up to share a moment with them.
I would love if you share your experiences on showing your work! Did you take a new direction afterwards..did it gave you confidence?