Embracing Empowerment

The Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Grant experience is now in its final phase. My artwork for the long-awaited exhibition, which is only about a month away, is completed, including the framing and packaging. I’m ready to go. And I’m thoroughly excited about the exhibit’s opening night.

Interestingly, with the Grant experience, I’ve found that I’ve changed. When I began this journey, I was just a bit nervous. Actually, I was thoroughly stressed out. I was anxious to get the job done before it could stress me out even further. The thought of evolving made me uncomfortable. It was scary. Maybe you’ve had that experience yourself.

Since then, however, I’ve evolved into a much more “in-the-moment” artist. By that I mean that I’ve grown in ways that, six months ago, I would never have suspected would happen. I knew that I would have to “stretch” as an artist and explore areas of creativity that would take me out of my comfort zone. But you never know where that road will lead. It could have easily been a dead end, or worse, a disaster. But no, that isn’t what happened.

Instead, I find that I’m excited and interested in exploring new methods of painting, getting bolder with form and color and, heaven help me, going to much larger canvases. My brushwork is looser also, and I’m more willing to take chances. To some degree my work has also moved a bit more into the realm of the abstract and further away from the more traditional and classical style of painting. In other words, my art has become freer, and I’m embracing a new level of empowerment and achievement that I can only say is a huge surprise.

Recently, I met with my mentor. She has encouraged me to begin teaching what I know to others. That in itself is quite the compliment. In my estimation, you have to be darn good at what you do before you can successfully instruct someone else. I never had an interest in doing that, mainly because I didn’t want to fail. But now I’m sincerely looking at that as a new experience to dive into. Wow! Imagine that. I’m willing to push myself to stretch even more! Well, I’ve spoken to some of my friends and fellow artists about the idea of teaching a workshop. Much to my surprise (and delight) all of them said that they would be the first to sign up for it! I’m flattered but also amazed. How did I get to this point so quickly? I guess it might have something to do with the program. 🙂

For your information, the painting above is a recent painting of mine, titled “Gifford’s Cup”. It may look traditional at first glance, but trust me, it’s very different from prior paintings. I hope you enjoy!

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