I think artists of any discipline have occasion where we are very hard on ourselves. Maybe the ideas aren't flowing in the way they should. Maybe we feel unappreciated. Maybe we wonder if we've made the right decision about a career in the arts- OR maybe we wonder if we've made the right decision for a career not in the arts so that we can still make art.
I've been beating myself up a bit about my own creative potential and productivity lately, but in a strange and wonderful coincidence, there were two exhibits at Minneapolis art museums that filled me with exuberance. The first, was at the MIA: Matisse: Masterworks from the Baltimore Museum of Art.
(A sidenote: a Matisse exhibit at the MIA is the very first art exhibit I remember seeing as a kid. I was fascinated by his paper shapes and how he used simple materials like I could use to create beautiful art as his health was failing)
The exhibit was more of a "chronological overview" type, showing how Matisse's style evolved and influenced other, in large part via his relationship with two sisters who were influential art collectors.
I think of Matisse as a very confident painter. His strokes are brash and in your face. His colors are bold. He captures crucial facial expressions with hardly any lines. And then I saw this:
A portion of the exhibit then showed how Matisse would finish a painting, and go on to create sometimes dozens of different versions, always trying to push forward. It was a kind and simple reminder to me. Keep going. Keep working. There is nothing wrong with process. Because as Matisse said in the title quote of this piece, "Creativity takes courage".