Friday, 25 April 2014

Enjoy What You Do

It is really hard to describe oneself as ambitious, or even as talented. Like many others working in the arts, it is in my nature to be somewhat reserved and self-deprecating, and I find it very difficult to accept praise, especially regarding my work. Gaining a Distinction from the SBA Distance Learning Diploma was enough of a bolt from the blue, but getting all six of my paintings past the selection panel for this year's SBA exhibition was completely overwhelming.

Part of the submission to the SBA
in the end the Calla was left at home

Confidence, it seems is like a delicate flower, look after it and it will last for ages, but treat it badly, by not feeding it or maintaining it's care, and it will wither. Now I may be being a bit melodramatic here, but that's how I see it and for many years my confidence was completely shattered. Even as a young adult, I found myself having panic attacks and any kind of public event was like asking me to climb Mount Everest! In fact, that might have sounded like the better prospect in some ways.

Well, I digress a little there, but the point is that it takes a certain amount of confidence to put your work out there for criticism and judgement. Just a few years ago, I would never have done it and am still a little surprised that I am doing it now. With just a couple of weeks to go until the opening of the SBA Annual exhibition, I still pinch myself that when I go to see the works on display, mine will be amongst them.

The Chosen Ones

These are the four paintings out of the six that the SBA panel decided to hang in the exhibition.

A Hogarth Curve
© Jarnie Godwin 2014

Iris reticulata 'Purple gem'
© Jarnie Godwin 2014

The Green Belt
 © Jarnie Godwin 2014

Sammy & Lucy
© Jarnie Godwin 2014

Now of course, the sky really is the limit. With my first Five Challenges  giving me plenty to think about, it's time to take the bull very firmly by the horns, so to speak and get going while the happy momentum is still going. That'll be challenge 6 then...

6. Feeling Good. Keep the momentum going with plenty of things to do, even if it's just call up a mate to chew over the gossip and get an opinion on a new idea. It's good to get a different perspective and only a good friend will be the one to tell you, " don't be an idiot, you can't be thinking of doing that!". And we all need mates like that. Getting out and about more and doing the things you love keeps the happiness alive. So, more galleries, museums, walks in the country and pub lunches for me then. Well, you know what they say about all work and no play...

7. Fieldwork. I really enjoyed the experience of working in the field for one of my assignments and would really like to do more. Living in Hampshire has given me access to many more habitats such as chalk down and coastlines, so I would really like to explore these a lot more and record their flora. that said, I would also like to do some more fieldwork back home in Essex. Remembering to carry a small sketchbook with me on my travels must also become a habit, as I invariably forget one and then find a ripe subject that I can't note down.

Painting created from the original fieldwork studies

Well, before I brim over with all this confidence and forward thinking, the theory mustn't take over and the important thing is to just get on with it. Do what you enjoy, and enjoy what you do.     


marian Gibbons said...

Beautiful paintings inspired to do better myself

shevaun said...

Hey, I'm here for you whenever you need reminding of just how wonderfully talented you are!

Aislinn Adams said...

A very up-lifting post Jarnie. Congratulations again on your SBA membership (if that's the correct term.) I agree confidence needs to be nurtured- all the time. Beautiful work. It is really interesting to see how you create your compositions of such varied plants.

Janene said...

I agree with you Jarnie, and am happy that after graduating together, we both will have work in the exhibition. I am surprised that you see yourself as reserved, since your warm and personable personality put me at ease when I met you. (I get overwhelmed with crowds too.) For me, 'putting myself out there' is like stepping off of a cliff--I don't know where (or how) I will land but life is short so I want to at least make an attempt at what I love!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Keep a sketchbook in every handbag and one in the car - that way you never leave home without one! :)

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Thanks everyone, your comments are so uplifting. Katherine, I have taken that step, and have some new little sketchbooks for all my handbags. :)x

Thanks Janene, I think we need to pack a parachute each. Happy landings :) x

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

What can I say Shevaun, but xxx

Tracy Hall said...

Beautiful work and beautiful sentiments, Jarnie. So very happy for you and you deserve every bit of it all. Enjoy!! (and I know all about the parachutes!!)xx

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Thank you Tracy, I'm loving it all just now. Ha ha, you too! x

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Jarni - congratulations. Your work is awesome and I see a winner in each piece. It blows me spectacular. Good luck friend and enjoy this wonderful gift. Have a great week.