Jewelry is not what I need to be doing. When I made my huge glitzy rhinestone pieces, and my seed beaded pieces, it was. Even though I never got a true market value for the work, all of them have been sold and are in private collections. And they were BIG. I've always liked to work big - make a statement, I guess you could say. It's my way of trying to convince the world, and myself, that I do exist. Feeling like I exist is something I've always had an issue with. I've had so many people treat me as if I do NOT exist and by creating work that made a statement, it helped me personally, since I've never been able to work out the "issue" with the people in my life. (family, friends, spouse, etc)
There came a time when I could no longer make the rhinestone pieces (due to poisoning from the toxic chemicals) and the seed bead pieces became difficult because of eye-problems which have been slowly getting worse over the years.
Recently when I began making my painted polymer pendants, I developed a love of the acrylic paints. Acrylics are something I've never used much of, mainly because some of them are toxic and I am so sensitive to toxic chemicals, I was paranoid. Now that many years have passed, and I've stayed away from all toxic chemicals I could, my sensitivity to toxic substances has lessened.
And when I painted my purple rose painting this week - even though it's not HUGE (12"x12") - I noticed something else. First of all, I didn't tense up when I was doing the painting as I do when I'm doing the tiny jewelry pieces. One wrong move on a pendant, and I have to fix or re-do the whole thing. One wrong move on a painting, and it's just a small area to fix. I also noticed my eyes respond better, and I'm sure it's clearly because of the larger size of the work.
As I worked on it, I remembered my true, long-time (since I was 5 years old) dream...it was to be an artist and create paintings on canvas. I remember going to an event when I was that young and there was an oil painting on canvas - I remember touching it and thinking how COOL it was to "feel" the paint. I remember thinking, "I want to do THAT!". Over the years, I allowed others to tell me what to do with my life, and I allowed a lot of things to get in the way I shouldn't have. It's only over the past 10 years I've been exploring my creative talents more diligently.
In painting "The Power of a Dream", I realized I haven't been giving my TRUE dream the attention or the power it deserves in my life. Why have I been spinning my wheels making jewelry? Because it's smaller, can be lower priced, and will sell more quickly? Yep. And I've only been in that frame of mind because I've needed the money so badly over the past several years. I've been asking myself after I finished the rose if I feel confident that my larger works will sell and bring the prices I desire. The answer to that is no, I have not felt confident of it. But then, my previous larger works were colored pencil, watercolor, and watercolor pencil. Those mediums were not really where I wanted to spend my time, but I did so because I was so afraid of anything toxic. Now that my sensitivities have decreased, I feel better about working with the acrylics, and I feel my work in acrylics will be the best work I've ever done, and I feel it will eventually bring the prices I desire and I'll be able to realize my dream of making a living as an artist.
I just came out of the studio from painting two more pendants. As I worked on them, I was thinking about all of this, and as my eyes water from the strain of working so small, I thought, you know what? It's time I stopped working against the grain (on tiny pieces that bother my eyes so badly) and it's time I started believing in ME. I guess I've been looking to others to believe in me, when I should have been taking care of that myself all along. I've also been looking for a type of artwork which helped me believe in me. "The Power of a Dream" has shown me the type of artwork.
Not only has this painting shown me the medium I like, but it's also freed up my mind to feel okay about believing in WHAT I want to paint. I've tried to do EVERYTHING, and you know, there are certain subjects and viewpoints of those subjects that I prefer. So I'm going to do those...my favorite subjects and viewpoints. Surely everyone in the world will not like them...but I think I've finally come to realize, I can't be everything to everyone. Landscapes - which are touted as being the best selling artworks of all time as far as subject matter - are not my best. There's no point in me doing them. I like animals, flowers, birds, and I like to do close-up and personal views of those subects rather than something in a "scene". Maybe others do big flowers and animal and bird close-ups like I enjoy doing...so WHAT! My way of doing it is different than theirs...and that is OKAY! It is okay to be ME and paint the way I want to paint, what I want to paint, and the color scheme I want to paint it in.
I've come to the realization it's okay to be me, and to do the kind of art I want to do. I've also come to the realization it will sell for fair amounts, and I'll be able to keep doing it. At least I'm back in an area I feel comfortable in, which is on Ebay. I'm tired of going against the grain - all I'm doing is fighting my true self, and there's no point in that! So my rose painting not only turned out really beautiful, but it unfolded my own dreams right before my very eyes, and it gave me the hope and the courage I need to follow the right path for me.