Start the Engines

The craft fairs are done, and, even though most of them were successful, I’m ready for the break.

Last weekend, I was almost ready for a permanent break, suffering from a crisis of confidence after visiting the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge Mass. Usually I come away from that museum inspired, driven. Last weekend, Looking at the work of several supremely successful illustrators caused a nasty case of imposter syndrome – the realization that I could fraudulently be calling myself an artist. Intellect said it’s ridiculous to compare your work to someone who put in their 10,000 hours before they were 18, but I know I’m not the first artist to look at the work of a master and think to herself, “I will never be remotely as good as that.” I look forward to the end of the final art fair as a good excuse to pack up my brushes and paints and do some more writing.

This last Saturday, the last sale of the season was abysmal. If there hadn’t been well advertised, and it was my worst day of summer. I thought that would compound my confidence crisis, but it seemed to cure it. As I sat in the shade of the tent under a tree, contemplating the fall colors and the light, not making a dime, I knew the paint will never be packed up. Inktober and a season of indoor art me change the tools from oils to ink, but The painting isn’t about money earned or being as good as “insert name here”. It’s about connecting with the world and sharing it, and the need to connect doesn’t go away in the absence of income. The absence of income, on the contrary, throws the need to create into relief.

By the time I got home Saturday night I was making plans for my winter art routine. I investigated a larger studio space with enough ventilation to allow oil painting through the winter. I cleared out a new space to make more room for drawing alongside painting and began to rev up my paper and pens for Inktober.

And I made decision not to allow fear or pointless comparisons to stop my journey of 10,000 hours to, someday, become a master of my craft.

4 thoughts on “Start the Engines”

  1. Rachel you are amazing. I would love to be half as talented as you. The only reason I haven’t bought some of your work is because my walls are already full!


  2. Rachel, I’ve been enjoying your art for months, absolutely amazed at how you capture, especially Lake Michigan. I thought for sure it was a photo, until you wrote that it was a painting! Where in Michigan were you? I’m from Michigan, but in NC now, so especially love that beautiful water. :). Thank you so very much for sharing all your art.


  3. You inspire me to be inspired, Rachel! I look at your work and think “why bother” with my own but you’re so right–it’s not about the comparison but the need to create. Thank you for sharing!


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