I am sitting here staring at this piece. I have not seen it since May (2021). Is was left on the eisel to dry in a place I visit in California. There I have a space to paint. I painted this piece and days later I was back in Portland, Oregon.
Someone told me they did not like it. As it was still drying in plain view. This person looked at it and just said it, “I don’t like it. I was crushed at the time. Hearing this crushed me for about an hour. As an artist there are so many emotional attachments to what I paint and create. Not liking this piece feels like not liking me.
I wrote on the back of this piece, “Esculate” because my feelings of failure as an artist were truly esculating. This person said it flippantly. It was not ill-intended. Yet I could feel such deep feelings of failure…for about an hour.
When I finished this piece it turned out to be one of my personal favorites. Which made it more painful that it was not liked. The esculated feelings of failure as an artist were fleeting and passed through the core of my existence. And within an hour I was able to shake it off, consider the source and learn all over again that not everyone will like my art.
The knowledge of not liking my art will always sting for a bit. My emotions will esculate into feelings of failure and self doubt. I have to be my biggest cheerleader. Remind myself of my talent, my gifts and the many people who love my art.
Recently a dear friend told me that my style of painting was not her style. Her words did not sting or send me in a tizzy. Her words were kind and honest. Funny how a stranger’s words can sting but a place of friendship and love do not.
Thank you for taking the time to read. “Esculate” is Art You Love by Elizabeth Traub.
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