Dismantling The Committee
I found this exercise very useful. After much thought, I began with the premise that my Committee consisted of my father, my mother, my husband and myself.
I wrote a letter to my father, which was really cathartic for me, especially as he passed away a long time ago and I hadn’t been given the chance to say any of the things I really needed to be able to say.
I realised the reasons he hadn’t ever been very supportive of my need to express myself artistically, and was able to forgive and let go of the resentment I’d been carrying.
I then went on with my writing and discovered that in reality the only other person on my Committee was ME! Big surprise! My husband is always honest with me and will say what he thinks of my work, but is also very supportive and proud of me. My mother, who has also passed away, didn’t always understand my work, but was encouraging and understood the meed to do it.
So that left me as the remaining Committee member. And honestly, pages and pages later, I realised my own feelings of insecurity were my biggest stumbling blocks. Not that I started out with insecurities. Like many children I loved art at school, but was dismayed with criticisms from unthinking teachers, coupled with attention and praise being given to students who could already draw or paint well. As a teenager and young adult I enrolled myself into various art courses, only to come up against the same barriers to success. For years I struggled with the same prejudices from art teachers who didn’t actually “teach” and eventually found success in ceramics and textiles rather than “fine art” because I didn’t seem to have the ability to draw. But a part of me always felt insecure about my abilities because I didn’t have any formal art training.
Then, three years ago, I discovered some painting workshops in my local town, going by the name of “The Freedom School”. I began to paint abstracts and colour field paintings and developed my own techniques to express my feelings. I also experienced the value of playing to learn and the freedom of making mistakes. I thrived and developed as an artist and began to sell some of my work. But this in turn brought back some of the old insecurities. Because I painted from my intuition, rather than formal training, I sometimes felt like a fraud! If I experience a block in my work, I feel I lack techniques or insight that will get me through. I assume other artists know what they’re doing, whereas I look at some of my best work and wonder how on earth I managed to produce it!
This assignment has lead me to feel that its now time I left the Committee and gave myself a chance to stretch and experiment and to try new techniques without stressing or fear of failure
I also realise it is perfectly acceptable to be a self taught artist and its time I stopped allowing the feelings of inferiority to rise. So, with no fanfare nor fond farewell, I have resigned from my position on the Committee.
I feel as if its early days, but a weight has definitely been lifted from my metaphoric shoulders. Yay!