A fellow artist approached me about my work yesterday. She told me that she could not believe how much my skill has grown in the past few months. She observed (according to her) that my work has grown more in the past few months than hers has in years. Her biggest frustration was that she has an arts education and I am self-taught.
I don’t know if I agree that my work has grown that much in the past few months. However, I do understand what she is observing. I made it my goal in the past few months to stop trying to paint by the rules. Diego Rivera once said, “If you are an artist, you paint because you have to”. I relate so much with that statement. I paint because I have to. I can often be blocked by the self-imposing rules of creating a “body of work”. I struggle to keep with one style or technique that “defines” me as an artist. It hinders me.
I decided to give up on the rules. I want to play. I want to explore. I want to grow. Isn’t that what art and life is about after all? How do you learn anything if you never try something new? Suddenly I am learning new skills. I’m becoming more comfortable with myself, my work, and really excited to try new ideas and new techniques without worrying about breaking some rule.