Last week I was visiting with a lady from church who I heard, through the grapevine, had done some painting and even won an award in a competition. She admitted that, yes, she had won an award but she quit painting after only four pictures "There was no joy in it." The next year, she started making ceramics, and entered her creations in the same competition. Because there weren't enough entries in that category, they got lumped into a broad "crafts" category. In her words, "I didn't stand a chance against the elaborate entries because the judges couldn't see my joy in my ceramics." Cue the bells, whistles and flashing lights -- this was an "aha" moment for me!
I don't paint to make money or win awards - although I wouldn't mind those things. I paint for fun, for the challenge of creating something without instructions or a pattern, for making something unique. I admit up front that my paintings so far are not totally unique - they are my take on photos or images I've seen elsewhere - but I'm working on a couple pictures that, as yet, exist only in my head.
In the mean time, I'm going to display a few of my paintings at home and post them here. What if everyone who sees them thinks they are amateurish, or ugly, or just plain bad? It's ok! It really is ok, because no matter who is viewing and judging my paintings, they can not see the joy I feel while painting them. They aren't seeing the whole picture!