The Healing of What I Tried to Kill

The Chaotic Paint Drawer

It’s time. Far past time, actually. The need to make art is kicking itself out of the coffin that, barely alive, I had sealed it into long ago. By the time I stopped making art, it was a pathetic thing, and dying anyway, this “need”. So, how did I come to this place?

A little back story; I’ll keep it short, I promise. It’s nobody’s fault but my own; I let some careless (and callous) words by one I respected and called a friend stop me dead in my tracks, and question everything I had accomplished. I was a poser – I didn’t win major awards in major competitions, so I had no business doing what I was doing, no right to the modicum of respect of others, and no credibility to advise or teach or share with others what I had learned. Mind you, these feelings were always within me, and now they were “validated” in my mind. It’s not this person’s fault that I took it too personally. The blame lies with me. What followed was a direct result of my choice to give the words power. I set out to make those words true and sabotage everything I worked for, and in the process, make myself irrelevant.

I “succeeded”. And succeeded ugly. Irrelevance made it even harder to go back to making art – the cliched self-fulfilling prophecy.

I was, and still am, unbelievably pissed off with myself for caving. I’m stronger than that. Or so I’d like to think. I guess I didn’t love it, or need it, as much as I thought I did. Or maybe too much – but didn’t deserve it. Please understand that I am my own worst critic, I did this to myself, and I am beginning to realize that all of that time spent not creating is irretrievably gone. Time wasted that would have made me a better, more confident and stronger artist.

lori corbett - paint drawer

Slightly Less Chaotic Paint Drawer

But this “need” is my Nature, as it is with every artist. And it wants out. And with it comes a realization that my art was good – technically well executed. There’s the gist. Technically well executed. But uninspired. That’s a very hard thing to admit. One carving (and one of my last carvings) had the spark of inspiration, but at the time, I was too self absorbed in self-pity to let it lead me to where I needed to go. I mentioned it in an earlier post. There were flaws, but it was INSPIRED – it had life, it made me FEEL, but all the things it tried to show me went into that same coffin. Out of sight, but not really out of mind.

That piece is owned by a person who could have (and would have) been a fairly steady source of commissions. He believed in me. But I destroyed that opportunity, and a budding friendship to boot. I see and hear of my fellow artists’ work flowing into his collection, and while I am genuinely happy for them, it’s a constant reminder of my failure. I stopped taking commissions after this, and stopped making art at the same time.

Fast forward to now – I went back to school and earned a degree in Graphic Design – something I’ve wanted to do since High School. The classes kept me so busy, that I didn’t have time to carve if I wanted to (and I didn’t want to). But, I was forced into making art. The possibilities were so open, and the different media we had to learn were things I never would have tried, otherwise. I fell in love again with graphite (where my art began as a child), love colored pencil, and mixed pastel pencil and watercolors turned out to be an amazing discovery – combining both my drawing and painting skills. And digital – digital is cool.

I tried to murder my Nature. But it turns out it’s a strong thing. And I am grateful for that, now. Grateful to whatever Force kept it alive, and kept it a painful and constant reminder that it still lives. And waits.

It’s starting with a complete reorganizing, rearranging, and reacquaintance of/with my studio. This is stirring some pretty strong feelings, and I’ll be chronicling these raw feelings after each day spent doing this. There are so many (re)discoveries to be made. Reminders of successes, near misses, outright failures and things thought about, but never given a chance.

I would love nothing more than your indulgence to follow on the Journey with me. Much love and gratitude to those who stuck with me, and always kept reminding me. Especially after they got the standard answer, “Soon”.

So now, the Healing begins.




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