I'm close neighbours with my inner critic. But as I get older, I am learning to ignore that voice. I don't intend to sell my art. I don't foist it on friends as gifts that they'll feel obligated to display. I might make a wee picture on a card to be mailed, and am not concerned with what becomes of it once viewed by the recipient.
I used to have lots of fun with watercolours, when I was single and had the time. I painted little things like this:
Thistle-down fairies at play...
This is delightfully tiny, created specifically for this yard-sale frame.
At a recent artistic retreat, I attended a workshop called "Knocking on Hidden Doors". We discussed the images that arise from our subconscious, and the practice of meditating before creating in order to tap into that deep inner stillness for inspiration.
I spent the first hour of the workshop trying to shush my critic. I found myself searching desperately for that deep, symbolic image I would paint. Finally, in surrender, I just started to create. This is what came out:
Each item on the clothesline represents one member of my family (the red Y-fronts are my husband's). Interestingly enough, I realised afterwards that I had SIX items of clothing on there, instead of five...
Art does not always need to represent something. And sometimes, when you think it doesn't, it does. These two images represent what is most important in my life: my home (gardens and animals), and my family. They are simplistic and whimsical, and bring me pride and delight each time I look at them. I may see about getting them printed on notecards, I like them so much!
Hush up, inner critic. I'm going to create in spite of you.