It Takes a Community...

Angela Vuyk Art Show

Ever feel alone?

Not in the sense of not having people around you, because I have lots; husband, kids, grandkids, church friends and family.

I mean, more of a sense of being alone in your ideas, your desires, especially relating to your creativity. 

Artists tend to be loners. We all have our ways of using paint, pen, fibre, or whatever medium we are working with. We interpret what we see into our art in many different ways. An oak tree painted in acrylics by me will not look at all like the same oak tree painted in acrylics by the artist down the street. We are all unique, and as individuals, we can be very independent. 

It is not a matter of avoiding competition, either, because there is room in this big world for all of us. We don't need to hide our work for fear of copy-cats. I think it comes down to our insecurities.

(Ah, let me take a moment and lay down on the couch and put my hands behind my head, staring at the ceiling....self analysis time)

Yup, for me anyway. 

Insecurity.

We all like our own work, and yes, always room for improvement! This could have been crisper, that  wasn't quite accurate according to my references. That blue came out, well, really blue!  If we didn't like what we were doing, we would no longer do it, right? But would anyone else like it? Do people like my style? Do they like my subject matter, my use of colour? And so we hang our art in our little home studios, if we hang them at all (for a long time mine were on a shelf in a spare room closet collecting dust), to be looked at only by our very own eyes. 

So it was time for this artist to step out of her comfort zone!

Big Breath!

I joined the Lakeside Pumphouse Artist's Association (http://www.grimsbylpaa.org/index.html) in the next town over. They are a group of artists who meet every Wednesday as they are able in order to paint, to socialize and to share eachother's work. Workshops are organized, links to art events around the region are discussed, and we have tea. The members are all at various stages in their learning, from professional down to the beginner. All are welcome, no matter what medium you choose to work in.

So, with a whole lot of trepidation and art supplies in hand, I went. Oh boy, would I fit in? Would I cut the mustard?  (Seriously, who came up with that saying?? I think it is ye olde English.)

What a SUPER bunch of people! They are so very encouraging! My previous experience with professional artists left me with little, as they played their cards very close to their chest. But at the Pumphouse, I could ask questions! We could discuss colour theory. How do I make this more lunimous? How can I make that look more in scale? Tricks...tips...everyone shares their knowledge. Everyone is very encouraging and supportive. They even bent over backwards to include me in their fall art show, despite application deadlines being long since past.

I am so glad to belong to this little group! They are helping to pull me out of my artist's shell, expanding my horizons outside my little studio walls, and challenging me to grow!

We know that it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a communtiy to raise an artist!