Recently I painted a picture of a lion. I didn’t like how it turned out, so I painted a second picture of a lion with a little bit different angle. I didn’t like that one either, so I put them upstairs where I see them every day. As I looked at the second picture over and over again, multiple times a day, I began to see things that I hadn’t seen when I first painted it. I began to like the picture. As I started to notice my change in perspective, I asked my family which one they liked the best. Their answers surprised me, as they were split on their preference. Some of them liked the first one I painted; some liked the second better.
Above are the two lions. The one on the left is the one I painted first. To me there is too much detail. But that is exactly what some of my family, and social media commenters really like about it. The one on the right is the second picture, and I feel like it has the right amount of detail, or lack of detail possibly, and a more realistic face. But really, it is up to the one viewing it to decide, not to me. This lesson I learned years ago, but it seems like I have to learn it with each new painting I paint as well.
Art is in the eye of the beholder. I used to put out for people to see, only the things that I liked. However, I would post on social media a large variety of the art I had painted. Often, the ones that I like the most were not the most popular and were not the best sellers. I began to take a much more varied sampling of my art when I realized this, and my sales increased. I learned from that experience that everyone finds different things beautiful. Some people really like more abstract art. That’s really not my thing, but as I have painted a few abstract pieces, the people who enjoy that kind of art buy it. I don’t add backgrounds to many of my paintings. I feel like they distract from the main focus. I especially don’t add them to my botanical style paintings unless the botanical is white. One day I had a young lady come to my booth and ask me why I didn’t add backgrounds. She was a painter herself and said that her favorite part of a painting to paint was the background. I found that interesting.
It is fascinating to me the wide variety of perspectives that we each have, and the wide range of likes and dislikes when it comes to art. Today I want to encourage you in three ways. Number one: don’t ever look at your art and assume that if you don’t like it, no one will. I bet that, for the most part, there is someone somewhere that will love it. Number two: share your art with people. Whether it be on social media, or just displaying it in your home for people to see. People will comment, and for the most part it will be positive comments. Some of what I thought were my worst practice pieces, that I had the courage to share, have become some of my best sellers. And number three: don’t throw away your art. Now, I have on occasion thrown a piece of art away. But for the most part I have almost all my originals. The thing I love about having it all, is that I can go back and see how far I’ve come. It is amazing to me that people were willing to support me in the beginning and that they liked what I painted then, because I can see so much improvement in my abilities by looking back. And, on occasion, I look back and think wow, I don’t know if I could even replicate that painting today. I would love to see art you have painted. And if you’re looking for some simple tutorials, head on over to my YouTube channel, and then send me a picture of your final painting!