Finding my way as an artist.

What makes someone an artist? I used to have an idea in my head that in order to be a “real” artist one had to have gone to art school, enter and win shows, make the covers of artist magazines and most importantly, sell their work.

Well, I didn’t go to art school but I have entered two shows and won in one of them. At that show, the honor of winning left me thinking, “now I can say I am an artist”.  Then came a larger show at which I didn’t place. Did that mean I was mistaken? Was it a fluke? Was I not really an artist after all? And then there is the selling issue. Yes, I have sold paintings… to friends. I have even shipped sold art across the country..again friends. So, is my art not “good enough” for the general public?

And then comes the question do I really even need to sell my art?  It is not my primary source of income and thank goodness for that or I would really  be in trouble.

I paint because my heart leads me to my brushes and paper. I paint because I love seeing the subject come alive under my brushstrokes. I paint because I lose time and become one with my most authentic, creative self and just flow with it. I paint because it is one of the places in my world that I feel truly at peace in my mind. Can I really put a price tag on that kind of experience? Would selling a painting make any difference in my artistic process? I don’t think so.

Maybe what makes me an artist is the joy I get from painting. Maybe that is enough. Maybe art, for me, is simply the process, and my reward for painting is the joy. Who could ask for more than that?

Thanks for reading and may you find joy in your moments today.

Maggie