Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Whole Picture

I have posted dozens of times about my quilting and sewing projects.  Even though the things I sew aren't elaborate, I know there are a lot of other beginning sewers out there looking for similar projects, so I have no problem posting what I've made.  I have even shown pictures of some not-so-successful items.  So why is it difficult for me to post pictures of my paintings?  I've been painting, off and on, for almost two years but, other than my long-suffering husband and sister, most of my work has been for my eyes only.

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!


  1. Really nice work, Tami! I especially love the composition of the second one with the little birdie. Great colours, too. Keep it up. I hope you show more of your work.

  2. And shouldn't it really be all about the joy?! What is the point of doing something creative in your free time if there's no joy in it. Rock on with your painting!

  3. I really think they are amazing!!!!

  4. I think all three of those paintings you've shown are precious. I really like them. I have a fondness for bicycles as a subject and that birdie on the watering can is so whimsical, it is right up my alley. I have another perspective on your reluctance to share your paintings. For years, as a member of the choir, I played my flute at Mass at my church. Often the director would cue the singers to be quiet for a verse and I would play a flute "solo" with piano accompaniment in the background. I did fine by myself. But if I was asked to sing alone I was a nervous wreck. Why the audience fright? I was no American idol but my voice was pretty decent and on key. I then had a formally trained musician give me this insight. "Your voice is more personal than your flute," he said. Perhaps your painting is more personal to you than your needle crafts. It probably is, since it gives you such joy. All the more reason I appreciate you sharing it. Keep it up. Remember the song, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!"

  5. You never cease to amaze me, Tami!