THIS is what I plan to overcome, this year.
I have always been able to draw anything I can see, and with any medium. Though my skills increased with classes, a basic technical knowledge of perspective and proportion, and practice, the ability to place image-to-paper has always come naturally to me.
Some Boring HistoryMy first "real" drawing, of a hummingbird, was wrought over envy at friend Dan Smith, when I was 12 years old. I wanted to do that; I wanted to excel; I wanted to compete. Mostly, though, I wanted the attention.
Huh! Easy! I was in direct competition with Dan for the next 7 years, always managing to squeak by with the a slightly higher award, though his work was better than mine.
There is a nationwide program called The Scholastic Art Competition. "Back in the day," the highest award you could attain was a "Hallmark;" 5 were awarded in each state. After leap-frogging and edging one another out since 6th grade, Dan and I ribbed each other constantly in our last year of school: last chance for the Hallmark. In that graduating year, 1981, the unthinkable happened: 2 of the 5 Hallmarks were awarded to one high school: Dan Smith. Lori Stewart.
I left school that day before my art teacher was able to contact me with the good news. My mother was giddy and dancing around the house when I got home. She thrust the newspaper in my face. There, on the front page, was my award-winning drawing....
And I was MORTified, dahlings! This was not one of my advanced art projects! This was one of my 10-minute drawings, of which we were required to turn in 5 a week. My art teacher had submitted it behind my back! This drawing was SHIT, I thought, and good god, here it was on the freakin' front page for god and the whole world to see! I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. Instead, I was then forced to go thru a series of awards ceremonies, dinners, a day touring the U of I art classes, more photos, and exhibitions.
I look at it now, and I realize, it wasn't so bad. I had higher hopes for other entries, and couldn't see that the 10-minute drawing had any merit.
So. Life after high school, as life does, took a series of twists and turns, that involved some art, some college. I got a job doing what I went to school to learn, dropped out of college, and have been doing some semblance of art or art-related projects, layout, and design, for publishing companies, and for myself, since then. 1 son, 1 foster daughter, 2 husbands, (not in that order) 6 houses, 2 cats, lots of laughter, a few tears...and 25 years later...
...here I am.
Read my lips:
I am Returning to Art.
And the first thing on my agenda is to shed this Mental Hurdle, this self-doubt and degradation of my work, that has lovingly stayed by my side through it all.
For all of my ability to put something on paper, I still doubt myself. I say, "I can't" and "it's not good enough." I panic, quit early, have lost some of my attention span. That I actually HAVE managed to produce a few nice things has been of little consequence, for some reason. I shrug them off as a stroke of luck, a fluke.
How'm I ever going to get over this?
Well, I'm just going to do it!
To start out, I am going to post some of my drawings and paintings now, and over the next few days.
I don't need your commentary so much as I need to take this step. Really, what's the point of having a God-given talent and squirreling it away out of shyness?
So! I am going to share a few pieces with you, and then I'm going to get back to getting back where I left off. I WILL keep you posted.
Click on each piece for a more detailed view. I'm going to go lie down now. All of this courage is wearing me out.