I have an ear worm that I want to clear.
In conversation a friend said she feels she is not a successful artist if she has doesn’t sell and has art ‘hanging around’.
A worm lodged and started to grow. The little wormy voice started telling me I am not successful because I have not been making an effort to sell and have a Covid cancelled exhibitions worth of art stuffed into every nook and cranny of my home.
My wardrobe is full of paintings. Clothes? Who need clothes, art lives in wardrobes! My spare room, stuffed to the gunnels, no friends can visit anyway. Brimming cupboards, heaving drawers of drawings, framed paintings tucked under the bed, every wall space full. In fact my walls look as though an army of worms has attacked there are so many nail holes from hanging and rehanging over the years.
But truth be told, since Covid I haven’t felt right about proactively marketing my work. I have sold a few pieces when people have approached me, and exhibited in one group show locally when lockdown eased, but somehow, rightly or wrongly, I have had the idea that I shouldn’t expect other people to put themselves at risk delivering parcels for me, and stay home meant stay home. I even produced a calendar that I decided to postpone until 2022. I have also been shielding my mum in her 80’s.
But I want to release the ear worm that is telling me I am not successful because I have a house full of art. Insidious little beastie begone!
I started to wonder if art actually exists if it’s under the bed, or in a cupboard? Does art only exist if it is seen, like Shrodinger’s cat? And even, due to lack of space, should I stop painting and do something else?
Or is the purpose of art the glimpses at the mysteries of life that one experiences in it’s making? I think success for me this morning as I aim to let go of the poky little ear worm is that I wake up and want to paint and draw and for that I am grateful.
“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and the voice will be silenced.” Vincent Van Gogh.