I felt “uneasy” & vulnerable about putting my paintings out there
For as long as I can remember, I secretly knew that someday I would paint. I would often say to myself, “You can do that” when I saw a painting at a gallery. I bought a book years ago called, “Drawing on the Left Side of Your Brain” and never opened it, or if I did, never did anything with it.
When I moved to Maui, my friend, Kati, and I did some painting together and then I put it down. I don’t know why I stopped because I really enjoyed it. Perhaps I felt my paintings weren’t “good enough” because I didn’t know anything about drawing or painting and it felt like I was “flying by the seat of my pants.”
A few months ago, (two years later), I asked my friend, Lesta, (who is a professional artist) if I could paint with her. She said, “Yes” and we painted a picture together in her back yard under her tree. I am not exactly sure what happened to me that day, but I felt a freedom to just play and I wasn’t worried about it being perfect, nor did I compare myself with her painting. Lesta said, “Pat, you have talent.” With her support and encouragement, I left her house with a new desire to paint again.
When I returned home, I found some of my old paints that I had put away and a few canvases lying around. I started to paint and haven’t been able to stop. All I want to do is PAINT. I am amazed at what is coming out of me and onto the canvas. I put a few of my paintings on Facebook and have had lots of compliments. A friend of mine, Jack, who is a well-known artist on the Island saw my paintings and asked if they were for sale.
My friend, Sharon, and I met at the local coffee shop recently. Sharon noticed that the paintings hanging on the walls were from local artists and they were for sale. She said, “Pat, your paintings are amazing and I think you should have yours in a coffee shop.” I remember thinking, “I’ve only been painting a few months now and they are just not “good enough.”
As I continued to play and practice painting ocean scenes, I could see that they were getting better and better with each one I painted. Our home now looks like a gallery and poor Larry has to step around the paintings to open the cabinets. I have all 15 of them lined up so I can look at them and admire them.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to lunch to my favorite restaurant called, 808 Deli. I spotted the paintings by local artists on the walls and felt brave and said to the cashier, “Rachael, who is in charge of the paintings on the wall?” She said, “I am. Do you paint?” I said, “Yes, I do.” She said, “We have the month of October open. Would you want to bring your paintings in to display and sell?” I said, “YES.” I am sure my jaw dropped open with amazement and shock. It is hard to believe how easy it was because she hadn’t even seen my paintings.
As October approaches, I started to feel “uneasy” about displaying my paintings. I felt vulnerable putting myself “out there” because what if no one bought them? There are so many famous artists on the island that are really good and who was I to think mine were “good enough” to sell? I wanted to ask friends, “Do you think my paintings are “good enough?” I was ready to give my power away again by going outside of myself to get others’ opinions, rather than going within for my own.
Last night, I had a dream that I had given birth to a baby. Giving birth in dreams is very powerful and significant because it means a new idea, project, dream has just been birthed. The only problem was that I wasn’t prepared and ready for the baby’s needs when I brought it home. While in prayer, I asked myself some questions: What had just been birthed? Where & what wasn’t I prepared and ready for? What did I need to do to get prepared? Writing a new book with Larry has already been birthed so I didn’t think it was about the book. It seemed to be about the “uneasiness” I was feeling about displaying and selling my paintings. I was shown that the “hard part” of 9 months of pregnancy and the contractions were over. Now all I needed to do was to nurture and love the “baby” so it would grow to its fullest potential. My baby (painting) was in the womb for 35 years.
I NEVER criticized or thought my 4 babies weren’t “good enough” when they were born. They were perfect and I was delighted and happy that they were born. I just loved them and only saw their beauty.
While I was meditating and thinking about the dream, God showed me that I had “birthed” my paintings after being in the “womb” for over 35 years. Instead of criticizing and thinking they weren’t “good enough,” I was being invited to love, nurture and care for them. They didn’t have to be perfect and I didn’t have to compare them to other people’s paintings. All I needed to do was appreciate and love them. That afternoon, I held each one of the paintings in my hands, prayed over them with love and gave them a name. It doesn’t matter if they sell or not. What matters is that they have been birthed and I had the courage to birth them “& put them out there.” The rest is up to God.
With the grace of God, I BELIEVE
• It doesn’t matter what other people think. What matters is what I think
• It’s my approval that I need and want
• I no longer need to compete or compare myself to others (which I did most of my life)
• My paintings don’t have to be perfect or the BEST for me to feel proud of them
• I will give my “baby” the nurturing and love that it needs to grow and develop
• There is no need to hurry the process
• I will love my “creations” just as they are
• I will enjoy and relish each stage of my painting journey
• I will be enthusiastic about showing off my “baby”
What are your dreams? What are you birthing in your life? What has been birthed? What has been in the “womb” that is ready to be born or does it still need time to grow and develop? Know that your soul will guide you in the right direction. We all have gifts to be shared with the world. It takes courage and a willingness to “come out” and let your light shine. Like me, it may take years and that’s ok. It took me 7 years to birth my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith.” We will never be asked to birth something until we are ready for it to be born.
Are you ready to say YES and trust that Spirit will be there to guide you every step of the way? If not now, when?
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