never before have i considered donating an artwork - not seriously anyway. sure, it sometimes sounds like a nice gesture, but in the end i've never made the time or effort. and there's a couple of reasons i can now see for this:
- the old 'my artwork isn't good enough' Gremlin is a very dedicated little critter who has impeccable timing. and who also sometimes disguises him/herself as the 'no one likes my artwork anyway', or the 'i'm not good enough', or the 'you'll just be embarassed because no one will bid', or the 'you're not as talented as other artists' Gremlin. yeah, she wears many convincing masks, depending on her mood - and somehow finds just the right one to push my buttons, keeping me in my comfort zone of lack of self-confidence and non-vulnerability.
- and then there's the stingy Ghoul (and she shows up with the 'not good enough' Gremlin to really confuse me, by throwing a little disguised ego into the mix. but pay attention, because really their message is often the same). yep - i'm admitting it. i've been a little righteously stingy. in the past, it has been hard to justify donating artwork while trying so hard to establish it as worthy of purchase and value. it's an argument i think many artists have to face at some point, and i'm not sure this one is Totally off base…because artists DO deserve to be compensated for their work, absolutely. and every other venue, collector, organization, or cause wants artists to give up the results of their talent and sweat for free, for the greater good. it can be a little irritating, when looked at from one point of view. but on the other hand, there's an awful lot of fabulous artwork that could go for good causes, that otherwise sits in closets, under beds and in portfolios never to see the light of day. some pieces are personal or sentimental - just not meant for others. but other pieces…well, maybe there's a better life, a gesture of intentional energetic flow that could exist for some art when we let go of simple attachment.this makes more and more sense to me as i focus on the process rather than the outcome.
|Earth Healing Mama. Mixed media. 11"x14".|
So as I engage deeper into my practice of painting and intentional living, and I strive to live my values more fully …one being that our attention, love and time (and even money) are but part of a vast flow of energy… I have found it much easier to hush my little Gremlin/Ghoul dichotomy.
and last week, there was the perfect opportunity to put this to the test: a request was posted for donated art to be added to the raffle at the SE Womens Herbal Conference this year - so I jumped at it and offered a painting. this will be my 3rd year at the conference and i believe very strongly in the sharing of knowledge and goodwill that takes place there.
i decided right away it would be a new painting, just for this cause, that i would make over the weekend.
so that's what i did. i approached this differently than art i've made in the past, though.
i tried to consciously apply my intuitive painting practices - to a piece considerably smaller than what I've been painting lately - and to a piece that is intended to go to another unknown person. this was no small challenge…. doubts and questions and judgments came up along the way. i even wanted to scrap it and start over a couple of times, but i stuck with it, determined to see it through, repeatedly redirecting my monkeymind to the mantra "earth healing" - trusting that the intention would resonate inside of me and in the woman who will win this painting. as with all of my Fearless/intuitive paintings - there were times in the process that i loved it and times i hated it. in the end, i am satisfied not with feeling as though she will necessarily be appropriate or good enough or even admired… because i can see beyond that to the whole process of her creation and the intention of the donation itself (which is to help fund the scholarships that go to women who otherwise would not be able to attend this amazing conference of women, healing, earth medicine, music, expression and learning. ) and here is the beauty: i have offered something that gave me the opportunity to practice deeper what i feel spiritually passionate about, and this painting will be part of a raffle that will inspire other women to offer their dollars - and those energies together will help another woman learn more about herself and healing potential at next year's conference. i mean, isn't that cool?
the painting, simpy put, is perfectly beautiful for what she is, all human judgments aside. and i am honored to offer her out into the world for something beyond me and my internal struggles or triumphs. i am so glad she will have a life beyond her creation in my studio, and that her energy (and mine) will extend past our time together and into the greater flow of energy shared between women.