I am trying to get over my attachment issues.
It is no secret that people get attached to objects: a favorite ratty old t-shirt, a high school sports trophy, a college beer poster, a favorite pair of out-of-style shoes.
Artists are no different with their artwork. In reality it takes a great deal of comfort, strength, and security to let a painting go. Even if an artist receives oodles of money in exchange, the loss of that part of themselves always seems to sting.
After putting my heart and soul into a canvas, my mother has joked with me over the years, “How do you part with your baby?” Honestly, it has taken years to overcome. The best advice I received on the topic is: the next painting will always be better, no need to hold on to this one. Create it, learn from it, move on.
There is a creation cycle:
Each step takes different amounts of time with each unique artwork. I could spend months working on a painting and the second I finish the last paint stroke and put the brush down, I have already let go and don’t need to see the work again. I got what I needed from the piece and it fulfilled its purpose. Then other paintings take a couple of short days to work into existence, but then I drag my heels on sharing it with the public and letting go, as I am not done studying or enjoying it.
An interesting idea I learned from a podcast featuring the talented artist, Connie Hayes. She explained that she keeps 10% of all the works that she creates. The paintings she keeps might not be her best, but they were the transition pieces where she tried something new and learned the most.
Learning to let go is a skill that can be used in so many facets of life. Concentrating on letting go within my art has definitely spilled into personal life and has been very beneficial. I have learned to rely on my learned skills and not ponder if I could ever paint a painting similar to one that has come before.
Breathe. Let go. Create again.