Friday, November 22, 2013

why is she successful and i'm not?

hello folks!
I want to talk about something
that's been on my mind lately.
The importance of making art
for the sake of making art.
Regardless of credentials
or recognition
or career path
or sales
or gallery representation
or status
or success
or failure...
Making art for the joy of making art.

Writing to write.
Painting to paint.
Singing to sing.

Many moons ago, 
whenever i would look at the artwork i had
just sitting around the house in boxes,
i would see this as confirmation
that i must be a failure as an artist.
I knew many artists who were selling,
who were in galleries
who were chosen to be published
in the art book of the year.
But i wasn't one of them.
So i was a failure as an artist.
Or at least i thought of my work in this way.
Still - i kept painting.
I kept writing
and sketching
and doodling
and drawing.

Many moons later,
i realized the importance of these
finished, unsold artworks
lying around the house in broken boxes.
I began to recognize the value of my work.
All my work.
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
It is necessary for an artist to make art.
A lot of art.
Bad, good, ok, crappy, beautiful, embarrassing, exceptional art...
ALL of this is necessary
to one's growth as an artist.
To developing your skill.
To finding your style.
Your comfort zone.
To knowing your happy place
and becoming more comfortable
in your not so happy places
if that's where you must go
to make the art that must be made today.
To write the book that must be written,
to play that song in your heart
that wants to be set free into the world.

I no longer question or doubt myself as an artist.
i am an artist because i make art every day.
I face those nagging fears
and dark doubts
about whether or not
my work is good enough -
and simply squeeze more paint out of the tube,
and continue painting.
My work is good enough.
And what makes it good
is not the quality of the final product
but the process itself.
The fact that i AM painting.
The purpose is not for me to paint a masterpiece.
The purpose is to paint.
To keep working.

Don't let the success of others
get in your way of making art.
Just make it.
Trust that it needs to be made.


  1. I love this! It speaks to my heart so much- especially since i have been struggling with the gallery issue myself. Thank you for saying what I needed to hear.

  2. "clapping" - Great points and you are most definitely an artist!!

  3. So glad you wrote what's on your mind. You are inspiring. So glad I stopped by and read this. You make beautiful work!

  4. I just smiled and smiled as I read this post and looked at your boxes of beautiful, colorful paintings. Bravo and well said, my friend. You just keep on keeping on…...

  5. Truer words were never written. I am an artist because I paint. I am a writer because I write. A few years ago I would have had trouble writing that but the more I paint and the more I write the easier it is to say to the world who I am.

    Your work is beautiful. I am so glad that you share it with us.

  6. A standing ovation from my corner of world. Wonderful post!

  7. I completely agree with you!! Here's what I posted on FB a week ago, "My paintings are butt ugly tonight, but I don't care. I'm not stopping! Tomorrow, I'll collage over them. Tonight, I paint!"

    I see so many new artists focusing on the money..when will the money come? They want to sell, sell, sell. They're not painting for the sake of painting..for the sheer joy of making art. I don't think they get it at all. Hopefully, one day.

  8. What a great post -well said!!!! And your art is vibrant and uplifting-keep on arting-because you love it!

  9. Exactly Pauline, just as Neil Gaiman says MAKE ART!
    It's the only way to go!

    ps.the scale and scope of your work is amazing!

  10. This post was written for me... I have no desire to sell it... I just need to make it and I don't even know why....I just do...and I don't know why I love color the way I do....I just do... I do have to write as well... Love your art so much!! ALL OF IT!! And your mind!!

    Hugs Giggles

  11. Art is for everybody. Everyone needs to make it. I'm so glad you do and share. What a colorful and inspiring post. Keep it up!

  12. Words of wisdom and very true! Never ever think you're not an artist. Your work is amazing!

  13. Great Post!!! And MUCH needed by me! Thank you! :)

  14. Ah! I so needed to find this post today! I've just had one of those 'what's the point' weeks so thank you for this true and timely post - and the good kick in the butt it's given me! Best wishes -Shroo:)x

  15. yes indeed, I agree with everyone else's comments, and you write and paint SO beautifully

  16. Such a great message! Your art is wonderful.I love the last abstract painting, especially.

  17. Pure inspiration! Now, if I could only find a way to make it stay!!

  18. lovely work and great advice, so true! Happy PPF!

  19. so right! exactly that is what it is all about!

  20. OMG...your post is screaming into my heart! And I know so good that you are right, but it is so hard for me at times. For the moment I feel I am only creating when I need to "deliver" something. Not because I want to. And when I need to deliver, it has to be "perfect" in my eyes.
    This weekend I am going to heart your words and just do, make, create for the sake of creating...
    Thank you!!! - Irma

  21. Good advice...and your art is are a true artist :)

  22. Terrific post and beautiful artwork.
    Happy PPF, Annette x

  23. your work is awesome!!!have a nice Friday

    much love...

  24. Now, that is something that needed to be said! I think that the moment we begin trying to please someone else for the sake of selling, we lose the best part of ourselves. I really believe that art must come from our souls - not our heads.

  25. Thanks for sharing that today, I needed to hear it. Your work is wonderful, keep on creating!

  26. Love your art, I have been there, these days I am happy to just produce, it makes me happy. Losing the shackles gives you great freedom. Wonderful words and so true.

  27. I can only hope what you say is true. I studied art through high school and had only a year in college, then quit. I was told in college that I had a different style but the style was sloppy. That bothered me for a long time and stopped doing anything art related. Then I had a mental break after I got married and found that art healed me some and I now consider art as and writing the job I am suppose to be doing.

  28. I so agree with you!!! I have to be creative to feel complete. It's a intrinsic part of my being. ANd for the record

  29. Your work most certainly is good enough Pauline, in fact so much better than many 'celebrated' artists, and no matter what you paint it is always in your 'voice'.
    I agree with everything you say, because I just love to draw and paint for no reason except that an idea comes into my mind and I want to express it. It is the actual process and the movements of the pen or brush that give the joy, and I'm lucky enough now to say that I don't want to sell - I like to give it. And I never have to worry about whether anyone will like it. I always love everything you do.

  30. Pauline, thank you for these words of life. I am taking them into my heart and will meditate upon them for however long it takes to make them a part of me.

    God bless you!

  31. Hi Pauline! So funny that I get around to visit blogposts from two weeks ago, which I didn't have time to visit these past two weeks. (They were all the blogs on PPF from the end of November)
    Today is the day for me to visit and it is astonishing how inspired I get from these visits today. I feel very content at the moment, because I got some problems cleared in the meantime!
    The best thing is, I was able to smile while I read your post. I guess two weeks ago a few tears would have found their way. Thank you for expressing, what so many of us seem to feel!
    Have a wonderful weekend
    Ilona xxx

  32. I love this post... I'm going to show it to my boyfriend later. I have never tried to be a 'successful' (like, galleries & selling) type of artist and I just try to have fun... I appreciate most of what I do but I don't take it too seriously. My boyfriend is a lot more technically skilled than I am--he does beautiful beautiful pencil drawings and has a really interesting dreamlike style for paintings--and a lot of times he gets really down on himself it's hard to watch. He'll say about a painting I could never have the patience to do that he doesn't even consider it art because it's not good enough... I want him to see this :)

    I have a question about the art you do. I see on your blog that a lot of the art you post has these yellow text quotations on them? For instance the one by Robert Frost in the first picture of this post. How do you get that text on the pages? I'm really curious!

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