There are eight million artist stories in the city. This is mine. This is “My Time”.
As this tale begins I have borrowed Hermione’s wand – wasn’t it always the most powerful? – and have used it on my ancient stories. Be gone, ancient stories. Fly away, ancient stories. Flipendo.
Yes, they are gone. Now I can tell it.
Something woke me up the other night around 1:30, I don’t know what, and before I knew it I was wide awake. You know how it is, when your mind flips a switch and suddenly a bright, vibrating stream of thoughts begin parading through your head. And sleep has to go wait over in the corner. That’s how it was for me that night. Thinking this and that, rolling over, telling myself I was about to fall back asleep, then 15 minutes later rolling back over, alert and aware that there would be a sleepy tomorrow. I was thinking about my wife – just over there, blissfully in her delta place – and how she had returned a few hours earlier from a work conference in Tennessee. I was thinking about my art, and not having painted the last few days. I was thinking about my re-done Etsy Store and all my efforts to get it going, part of the reason for not painting. I was also thinking about other artists. Two artists with whom I am connected, both on my Facebook Art page www.facebook.com/67blondies , and one here personally in Portland, had posted recently sales of their work. Jennifer Beaudet had been posting progress on a new vase of flowers painting, and shortly after she put it up for sale, it was sold. You can see her work here: www.facebook.com/JBeaudetStudios . It is wonderful, she is a fabulous artist. Her work is bright, fun, colorful, engaging. And my artist friend in Portland, Sean Kalley, www.facebook.com/koldshoulderart had three of his amazingly creative paintings now up on the walls of a Portland business. He uses pastel oils, with his fingers, and the results are stunning. I was thinking that I was happy for both of them. I was also thinking that I was just a little jealous, and I had the thought that I have sold very few paintings in my four-ish years as an artist because…here it comes….I’m just not that good, my art is just not very good.
This is before I borrowed Hermione’s wand. These are my ancient stories, whispering to me. Not good enough. Not as good as. Who am I kidding? Maybe I don’t really believe it myself. Ancient stories. Somewhere, very long ago, these thoughts and/or thoughts like them found their way into my conscious and sub-conscious minds and took up residence. Therapy a couple of times, years of really hard work to live sober with honor and integrity, endless conversations with mentors and friends, had indeed turned a spotlight on these little buggers, and they have been pushed out…Mostly…But here they were, at 2:30 in the morning, stopping by again to say hello. YOUR WORK JUST ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH BUDDY.
Instead of being able to be 100 % happy for my friend’s selling their art, I was more like 98%, that little other space the old stories. And then I had this very clear and distinct thought, almost as if someone whispered these words into my wide-awake ear: PEOPLE WANT ART HANGING ON THEIR WALLS. That thought stayed in my mind and repeated itself over and over until I had to get up and write it down on an envelope I pulled out of the recycle bag, so I wouldn’t forget it in the morning. And I went on to think that there are way more people with walls than there are artists. And I followed that with the thought that there are, in fact, walls waiting for me. For my art. And then I wrote this down on the 3 a.m. envelope:
MY TIME IS COMING.
In my quest to gather 1000 ‘Likes’ for my Art page I have met and be-friended artists from all over the planet. It’s amazing. I am very lucky. Recently “Liking” my page was a 12 year old girl from Paris, Santana Dubois, who draws with more than a touch of magic www.facebook.com/pages/Santanas-art-draw/468302549935337 She’s 12. And time and again, many of these artists have told me how good my work is. And so has one friend after another. Some of you reading this. So I know – MY ART IS GOOD. IT’S MY ART. THE UNIVERSE IS BETTER BECAUSE OF IT. But I forgot that at 3 a.m. And then, from over in the corner, Hermione said, “Hey, I think you can use this.”
Scarcity thinking says that so many artists are posting their sales there won’t be any buyers left for my art. Abundance thinking says the buyers for art are endless. Endless people want art hanging on their endless walls. I need to remember what Satchel Paige once said: “It’s not what you don’t know that hurts you – it’s what you know that just ain’t so.”
So I have used the wand (thanks Hermione), said something like “Flipendo”, and have sent my ancient stories packing. My art is my art and it’s good enough. People like it. They tell me. A few have bought it. A number have bought my art cards. One of these days a whole bunch of people will, because, well, my time is coming.