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Lynne Hurd Bryant Art Blog

Taking myself more seriously

by lynnehurdbryant , January 9, 2010—02:14 AM

Topics: emerging, shoebox, watercolor

It is time for some honest self-disclosure, now that we have a new year with no mistakes in it yet.

Truth #1: From May of 1983 until May of 2009, I had managed perhaps 12 paintings in total.

Truth #2: There is no rhyme or reason for suddenly taking painting seriously in May 2009, nor a legitimate reason for painting primarily in watercolor, a medium I have little experience with. I gave myself a year to "do something with my art" without specifying what that "something" might be. It seems ludicrous in retrospect as it takes years and a lot of work to learn to paint well.

Truth #3: In December, I garnered gallery representation for which I was not yet ready. The first watercolor in 25+ years is hanging in the gallery.

Truth #4: (This is the worst disclosure) when I went to take my pieces to the gallery, I literally dumped them into my portfolio. They were stored in an old cardboard shoebox under the bed.

You would ask about the shoebox. It technically once held a pair of boots, so it is larger than your usual shoebox. It is not ignorance that put them under the bed, but a lack of seeing a significant value in them. Of course, I wanted to make my living as an artist, one day, but a distant day. I didn't think they were good enough. I am a process painter and the finished product never seems to interest me in any significant way. I don't see what others see in my work either.

I think my biggest issue is not taking myself seriously as an artist. I can't even use the word "artist" in relation to myself. I am a "painter" or a "watercolorist." When one is an emerging artist, which I can call myself, it is hard to see a point where one has emerged fully. I can't answer the questions I have about my own work and where it will go, let alone end up. I can't even tell you what I will paint next, nor how it will look when it is complete.

With one gallery on my CV another will surely follow. I have my website on ArtID, which looks great, but there is very little for sale on it owing to the gallery taking 85% of the flowers I painted in the time between June and December 2009. I find I have commissions, requests to paint certain things and am generating a lot of interest in my community. I will be teaching watercolor this summer through a local community college. I have a couple of art contests and shows I would love to enter, at least for the experience.

Few people have this sort of a whirlwind of interest in their work, and I am blessed. Now, I feel I have to work to earn it. If there was a time to take myself more seriously, it is now. No more shoe boxes...




  Jean Kluz ( homepage )

02/15/2010 * 08:17:11

Your artwork is beautiful. I don't know how to watercolor, but would love to learn. It is so different and delicate. I paint mostly with acrylic.


  Monique L'Heureux ( homepage )

01/09/2010 * 12:20:29

Congratulations on taking this next big step. Don't worry about not calling yourself an "artist" yet. You will know when the time is right, and most people equate "painter" with "artist" anyway. :) Enjoy!



01/09/2010 * 10:04:16

I am so glad that you are taking yourself seriously. You do such beautiful work. I understand how you feel, we can be our our worse critiques. Please start putting more paintings on Artid, instead of shoeboxes. Millie

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