I often struggle with the question of me. Who am I? Am I what I want to be? Am I delusional? As an artist and really every area of my life... I strive to achieve my best. I strive to live up to the high standards and expectations that I carry with me like old heavy luggage. I compare myself with others, I wonder if I'm doing enough, doing too much, am I good enough? These feelings are compounded when it comes time for something like an art show. I entered a piece into the Art Center's Member September. It's the piece at the bottom of my blog.... very bottom. It's a portrait of my daughter. It's really green. I tend to work with not-so-normal colors because at the time that is the way I see the image. It's how I paint. It's how I've always painted. So to put myself out there in such a way is a huge RISK. My worst fear is that they don't even hang the painting. I'm going to the opening anyway... despite fear of rejection and humiliation. I know that may sound pretty kooky but it's what's been going through my head all day. I was even tempted to email a friend who works at the Arts Center and ask if the painting was hung. And I almost stopped by to take a peek myself. It's hard to know whether people like my art. No one really says either way. So I'm left in the middle of the swinging bridge between two mountains--hope and utter sadness. I wish people could say how they felt without feeling compromised. I've made a personal pledge to do just that--tell people how i feel in the moment--stranger, family, friend--to say how I feel--about them or their work--of course all in a positive light. The negative can sometimes be left unsaid. Of course sometimes you have to say what you'd rather not. I once ask a friend what he thought of my art. There was really silence from him. It broke my heart. Again I said, "If I'm no good at this could someone please tell me so that I can move on to something that I am good at?" Again, silence. He was not going to be my supporter. I met a lady--a painter--very successful--lives in O'Keeffe country. I asked her if she had someone who supports her art--the way that Georgia O'Keeffe had Stieglitz. She said no and that she was self-supported like most modern women artists. The days of a nurturing man who supports the woman artist are over. Stieglitz pushed Georgia to paint, to be her best self. I wonder if I push myself for nothing?