Here are the guidelines for this week's journal:
Are you too hard on yourself? I am surprised that I often hear from so many students that they work very hard at not being too critical of themselves as they undertook a new course, challenge, or project, such as watercolor.
The creative process can slow us down, quiet that noisy, self-critical voice, and allow for moments in which we're not planning ahead to the next hour, day, week, event. Check yourself: are you taking this one step at a time, or are you expecting much more achievement than is realistic? Is it relaxing, or stressful?
And my submission:
I don't feel that I am too hard on myself, although I think others see me that way. I do feel highly motivated to reach for quality. I can recognize that I am a beginner and see some of my work as a real mess but I do manage to pull off some pieces that I really like. It is all experimention and learning at this point. Maybe that is how it will always be?
I had a plan to pursue painting when I retire—a moving target somewhere between one to four years. When I questioned why I should wait and instead build a foundation, I overcame inertia and now work every day at something or other. That I post a blog article daily, meaning that I must have material, helps to keep me producing. The wonderful comments I receive from readers nurture my confidence and creativity.
Sometimes I can feel content and settle into my work, time disappearing. Otherimes I am in a rush and knock something out for a blog post. Regardless, my daily commitment to produce is probably a very good way to proceed. It's that coming back to it time and again that has subtlely made art work an integral part of my life.
In the big picture, I am now so pleased. You see, I did spend a few years collecting books and supplies but spending very little time doing. Tons of research, yes. Doing? Nope. Now, with joy and confidence, I have lifted off. I think for me it comes down to having the faith that daily practice and learning will bring me along.