Monday, May 12, 2008

The Interloping Artist - Such Arrogance!

It feels as if there is something terribly arrogant and presumptuous about sitting down to write about my own big self as if anyone in the world could possibly care in even the briefest of moments or slightest of ways about my big to-do.

I feel this same "who in this world do I think I am???" wonderment each time I decide I've either got to get up the nerve to show some of my work or just shut up about it. This hot-cold, tense, bipolar indecision has paralyzed me for years, and not just about art.
Lynne, my old buddy, actually freed me from some of this paralysis three or four years ago. I was carrying on about the impossibility and hopelessness of my watercolors one day and this was what she said: "Everybody else puts their crap out there... I don't see what's the big deal about you putting your crap out there too." (And let me tell you, I still to this day don't think she even said it in a very nice way. But she remembers none of that, of course. She only remembers her gentle urging and encouragement. Ha!)

The truth is, I felt free as a bird after I thought about that।

Because here is the deal: If I'm going to wait until the things I paint or collage are perfect and wonderful and the whole world is clamouring to see it because of their great admiration of my greatness as a human being and all, chances are better than fair that I am going to die without having done much... and worse than that, what in the world am I going to say that I've been doing for the last ten years at my next class reunion?

Anyway, so here comes the old Interloper Artist. Interloper is how I feel. I'm embarrassed. I feel foolish. I don't belong. I'm a fraud and I know everybody is surely going to catch on quick to my arrogance when you read about my big artistic self. And this will naturally bring about the just reward for such behavior: backlash from an antagonist ridiculer who will instantly recognize me for what I am. An idiot.

So today, as I worked feverishly on my latest piece... and oh my goodness! The exuberance I felt while immersed in the process is something that I want to share. It's something that I want to encourage others to participate in. It's something that seems as life-giving as pure, sweet, fresh air. Perhaps the process of creating something lifts up a human soul to commune with God. And maybe, in the briefest and faintest of ways, when we are immersed in creative endeavor, we sometimes glimpse God's own hand on ours just as we guide the hands of our children when teaching them a beloved skill.

And so a-interloping we will go।

P.S. Actually, I don't believe for one second that anyone will care what I've been doing when my next class reunion rolls around. I am very well nuts, but at least I'm not under THAT particular delusion!


Tammy said...

k,then, i am going to have to agree with lynne (and i am sure she was gently encouraging and not at all mean) and tell you to put it all out there!!!!!!!! You are amazing and i love seeing your work. You don't give yourself or GOD enough credit!!! He gave you this talent and you are keeping it to yourself!!!! so now I have to slap your hand and tell you to stop hiding what God has given you to share with all of us!!! of course I am saying this all with love :)

Donna Roberts said...

Tammy, there is no one in this world like you. I love you so. What would I ever do without you. (And Lynne WAS mean, I tell you! She was!!!)

Sierra said...

Hi Aunt Donna! You crack me up! I laughed out loud twice because you're so funny! I don't think you're a "fraud" and I think your work is amazing! I truly understand self doubt though...and I applaud you for putting yourself and your "stuff" out here on the web so that anyone can see it. I think you are amazingly artistic and I also think it's a great idea! Now I can see all your goodies all the way from Springfield! Yay! Did I ever tell you that your shop is my most favorite shop in the whole world? (at least of all the ones I've ever been to). ;)

Donna Roberts said...

Sierra, my little angel! You are so awesome! I happen to know that you are also quite the little artist. I can remember that gingerbread house that the dog ate (was that really true?) Just wait until you see all the glorious pretties I'm going to put on here. You'll be mortified for me. P.S. I love your page, too. Now you'd better get me something on there!!!

Erk N' Jrk Creations said...

And what makes you think that you have no talent woman! I can't believe that you think that! Geesh! I mean, honestly, you were my inspiration to put myself out there! I betcha didn't know that did ya? Well now you do! I could only wish that my work is as beautiful as yours! I miss you so much! Now get out there and take the world by storm lady!

Love you!

quiltingqueenie said...

OOOOOH! I am so proud of you! As I recall, you were the first to use the word "crap"...east coast people would use a more genteel word to describe the art of an average artist...but you my dear are not average!!! I will confess to being slightly mean, but only in the most encouraging way! But if you need someone to complain about, someone who makes you work, and then work some more, I will gladly accept that position, and all the "crap" that goes along with it! I am blessed to call you friend!!! Lynne

Donna Roberts said...

Jen and Lynne, you two make my heart break. I love you so. I just love love love you so.

YOU are the ones who make me brave (mad too!) When I see you I'm going to kiss your faces... and like Lynne says to Ken, "YOU'RE GOING TO LIKE IT!!!"

Sita said...

coming from a far foreign country, I don't know what 'interloper' means (I'll look in my dictionnary) but I feel just like you. I don't call myself an artist (I have much less artistic talent than you), but I just like what I'm doing. I did also want to hide when people bought what I made (until today). Your words and Lynne's words (to you) are a good advice for me. Thank's.
p.s. I like your paintings.

Donna Roberts said...

Dear Sita! You little doll! You are my first comment from a "new" friend! I am so excited.... I am on my way to look at your things. I can't wait! (Interloper means someone who is sticking their selves into something they don't really belong in... ha ha!) Where are you from? God bless! Donna

Sita said...

Hi, I'm from Indonesia, a country in South East Asia (look for Australia, my country is the archipelago at the north west of that land down under). If you've ever heard of the island of Bali, that's a part of it.Happy to be your friend. God bless you too