Iris (A4, watercolour and ink, 2010 perhaps?) Click to enlarge
‘Always keep your work,’ artists who run courses and workshops will tell you, ‘so you can look back over it and see how you’ve progressed.’
I don’t always follow that advice otherwise our spare bedroom would be piled high with dodgy drawings and experiments that should have been drowned at birth. Occasionally, though, I’m pleased that certain things get under the wire. The other night, while searching for something else, I came across this abstracted picture of an iris. On a cold November evening I was transported back to a summer workshop with Annie Rice, a luxurious six hours spent drawing and painting loosely in ink and watercolour.
It’s pleasing to find something that you did some time ago and to see it again with a certain detachment, especially if – on reflection – you find you rather like it after all. Last weekend, a newspaper in the UK published an interview with Brené Brown (much admired by my partner and her colleagues in the coaching world). Talking about her own work around shame and vulnerability she said something which any of us who create pictures and send them off to another life on the web might find useful:
Do the best work you can and find the courage to put your work out there and know that, no matter what you do, some people are going to like it and some people aren’t. All you can really control is how you feel about what you’ve contributed. The thing was to say out loud how hard that really is: ‘I want to be brave with my work and I want to be brave with my life.’ People will find a million reasons to tear it down, so you have to be sure about what you’re doing, because in the end, if you believe in it that’s enough.’