Watching paint dry…

ginger-4Watching paint dry was my favourite pastime. Last year for my birthday I received a whole box of various art supplies, including an easel and a set of acrylic paint, which I never used before. I actually asked for that myself, inspired by a then recent trip to France, where every corner of the most distant mountain village was cramped with art (both good and bad). Then my perfectionism upbringing took over and the box remained untouched for a year… I was absolutely sure my first attempts at drawing would be pathetic.

It’s been more than ten years since I finished art school and maybe just a little less, since I’ve done something better than wobbly sketching for design class. The eternal mantra of ‘either do it well or don’t even bother’ has ruined many good moments of my life, caused so much procrastination, and canceled so many potentially great projects, I can’t even begin to describe.

But then, I started doing a bit more photography…and writing…and going to exhibitions to review. And I realised that perfectionism has very little place there. I took a few trips to the IMMA and thought – why they hell not? It’s recession and everyone with nothing better to do seems to be an artist. Surely, I too can contribute a bit more to the sea of bad art I’ve witnessed. Even stick people can be high art if you have a right concept and write a long paragraph using words like ‘existentialism’, ‘gender’ and ‘self-reflection’. To hell with my art school past with demands of technique, anatomically correct figures and complex colours. I’ve discovered the world of mark making, hipster magazine collages, and wacky genitalia installations!

With all that sarcasm, I do think it’s great to actually be able to let go, not expecting amazing results and not being afraid of harsh criticism (because Irish people are nice and don’t say bad things). I won’t carry my creations to a gallery but after a year of watching my paints dry in the box, it’s just great to actually DO something.

Yes, it’s not what I had in my head. It’s wonky and the ear looks wrong. Being a sucker for Gustav Klimt I even put (oh, no) shiny golden copper on it. But I’m cutting myself some slack for trying the technique I’ve never learned after so many years of not drawing and for not writing a big post on how this picture is a self-reflection on my femininity in the discourse of modern existentialism. It’s just a girl with long hair…

And on that positive note – here is a great video by Ira Glass on Good Taste and why we think we suck at creative stuff:

4 responses to “Watching paint dry…”

  1. beautiful beautiful! keep going!

  2. Gativa says:

    thanks Jess)) i think we found an amazing source of blatant flattery in each other 🙂 xx

  3. Anonymous says:

    Very nice Nadia… I know the part about “the eternal mantra of ‘either do it well or don’t even bothe” so well… well done on overcoming it, continue!!


  4. Gativa says:

    thanks Irene! i’ll keep fighting the ‘evil critic voice’ lol

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