It is eight months since I last picked up a pen or paintbrush.
I had long ago decided that was that whatever I would produce would never be good enough* - and so if it wasn't going to turn out perfectly then clearly there is no point in trying. Right now I am actively fighting that thought - my inner critic is being bolstered by a perfectly timed episode of depression.
So I'm planning to prove her wrong, to minimise the destruction and pain she can cause.
Step one was the hardest. Sitting down and creating. Ok, so I've yet to get the paints out - but I'm sewing, stitching, using clay and markers. I'm basically attacking her with as many art supplies as possible.
I finished a beautiful Satsuma Street pattern: "It always seems impossible until it is done." A Nelson Mandela quote - quite apt for my current circumstances. (I highly recommend her patterns - I've already stitched Cat in the Garden).
I'm working on a clay doll right now. Last week I pulled out some Paper Clay to work with and it was awful... my Inner Critic™ had a joyous time. The clay wouldn't stick to the material I used for the body, the finish was rough and after drying it was weak and easily crumbled when pressed. Which turned out to be satisfying stress relief.
Ok. Breathe. An artist doesn't blame his or her materials but dammit it was definitely the clay. I ordered 1kg of DAS from Amazon and as soon as it arrived I got to work again.
This is her drying with her second layer of clay. The final layer will be creating her face. DAS turned out to be very easy to use, light weight and tough! And now I have 1kg to use....
For reasons unknown to me I always feel like quilting during the summer. Always. Even though it involves me sitting under the bulk of a quilt while I stitch.
It is summer. I have returned to quilting.
It's a King-sized quilt I have worked on for some time (obviously). I took it down earlier in the week and discovered that I have almost finished it. I have 3 blocks left and then the border and finally the binding. I'm hand stitching the remaining 3 blocks and I have ordered a foot for my machine - I have no idea if it will work but I'm going to try!
So if step one is CREATING then step two is REVIEWING. Today my inner critic is on a soap box yelling her lungs out - but taking a moment to review what I have created this week reminds me that I can create things that make me (and others) happy. That I can look at work I have created and be proud.
And onwards we charge. In December I had a moment of madness/clarity and joined Life Book 2016. So far I have yet to log in to the classes. I was so happy to hear from others in the same boat and it has encouraged me to jump in. So expect LB updates soon!
I can't silence my inner critic, I don't know of any magic words or spells that will shush her. The only thing I can say is that listening to her makes her stronger. Giving in to her is easier than fighting through but eventually she will paralyse you.
*And no, I have no idea what 'good enough' actually is. If you know then please do tell me.