Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Self-confidence and Self-doubt

Well, now that I'm back from my workshop and starting to get back to work on my paintings, I realize that I'm stuck. For the last couple of days, I'm trying to figure out how to do a basic painting. Most of it is related to self-confidence and self-doubt.

Now, as many of my friends know, when it comes to my work, I'm a pretty confident guy. I've been a physicist studying atmospheric effects on laser weapon systems (For Hughes Aircraft), been an engineer designing missile trackers (using Kalman Filtering techniques) and air defense networks, been lead architect/designer building Medicare enrollment systems, Toll Plaza ticketing systems, financial stock systems, and I'm currently writing software for a neuroscience company. I've had a pretty successful career and have been happy with all of my accomplishments. I've worked hard at it and studied a lot.

So, my next phase is to be a successful artist. People like my paintings. I sell a number of them at art fairs and to various other venues. My prints seem to be pretty popular. At this time, I sell enough to pay for all of my shows and my supplies, plus my display systems.

So, given all of that, why am I not confident in my artwork. It was IMC. Seeing all of those amazing artists, I realize that I have a LONG way to go. Seeing the amazing paintings and concepts from people, I view my art as relative simple. I think that it's just not good enough.

We are our own worst critics.

How do I get back to where I was confident again? Simple. After indulging in the emotion of not being good enough and self-pity (I always indulge in the emotion. As Tuesdays with Morrie wrote, give into the emotion, see it for what it is, then release it), I now have a plan of attack. I realized that I LIKE my paintings. They may be simple, but I LIKE them. I'm not one to admire the really complex painting with a lot of things going on. So, given that, what can I do? I can make my abstract shapes a little more complex (eventually adding a 3D aspect to them). I can render the landscape more realistically (do a better job of massing the shapes).

I don't need to follow everything that I did when I was at IMC. I just need to get the pieces that I learned and liked and fold them into my painting style. I LIKE my painting style and my paintings give me a sense of peace when I view them.

Now, back to work.

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