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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Facing Fears

I can't draw.

I can't draw a person.

I can't draw a face.

Why not?

Do I need official art training to be able to draw a face?  Who decides if the face is good enough or realistic enough?  If there is no ideal face in human form, why must there be one in artistic form?  Where is this critic telling me that I can't do these things?

Inside of me.

I am my own worst critic.  I know my talents and strengths, but I have never considered drawing or art to be among these until I discovered Zentangle® art.  I truly feel like an artist now and am thankful that I've let go of the idea of what art should be.  Who says?  Who knows?  Who cares?

I've been proud of the fact that my inner perfectionist seems to be taking a vacation with a raspberry martini in hand.  She no longer wigs about trying new things or failing.  Again, who decides when we fail?  Do we get report cards in life?  Do I need my mom to sign a form saying that I have to try harder?

I used to see work by other artists and think, "I could never do that."  I'm so glad that I've let that silly notion go!  We are all human with various abilities and experiences.  Sure, some people bring more traditional art training to their Zentangle practice, but that doesn't mean I can't try to draw something my own way.  I love that we don't need to be classically trained artists to make relaxing and beautiful art with the Zentangle method.

I have been infinitely inspired by Norma J. Burnell's Fairy Tangles.  She is an amazing artist who combines beauty, nature, and art into her creations.

Instead of staring in jealous admiration, I decided to pick up a pen.  What was the worst that could happen?  I mess up?  I ruin a sacred piece of paper and spend twenty minutes in a lovely state of relaxed focus?  Oh no!

With my tangled gardens, I've loved the free feeling I have while creating.  I can't believe that I had the same feeling while creating my first ever earth goddess!  I used a rubber stamp to create the face and enhanced it a bit with some pen.  Next I started drawing long strands of patterns.  Wow, was this fun!  I didn't care if the strands really looked like hair.  I just filled in the lines with patterns that I enjoy.  Many are the same ones in the garden ZIAs I've been making.  I kept filling in patterns until I decided she was ready for some shading.

Where was the fear?  Why did I worry?  I didn't get struck down because I used a rubber stamp or because I put pen to paper.  Instead of being afraid or believing I couldn't do something, I tried something new with great results!  I loved the process, I felt relaxed and inspired, and I did something new.  Yeah, me!

I may have to start asking myself, "What's the worst thing that could happen?" more often in life.  I'm guessing the answer is much less tragic than my mind can imagine.

What are you afraid to try?  What would happen if you face your fears?

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