Thursday, October 18, 2012

Practicing Courage, Being Strong

As part of the class I am taking about "growing a creative business",  I have been privileged to be a part of a small Facebook interest group of about 19 ladies across the world.  We have been sharing thoughts, ideas, and vulnerabilities about stepping out into the world and sharing our wares.  I am sure every artist, in some way, wants to be known and understood and yes, appreciated for her work.  What gives me courage (and empathy) is to know that Van Gogh was never known or appreciated in his time.  Courage because it gives me a go-ahead to persevere even though I may never get recognition.  He did it because he LOVED it.  And THAT is the only reason to do art.  The other part is just "stuff". Nice stuff, granted, but not the end-all, be-all.

I have the luxury to plod along, learning and loving what I do.  If I never sell a painting, I'll be fine.  I'm retired, have an income, and have my children are grown and self-sufficient.  So... it doesn't take a lot for me to be strong.  I call that luxury.
[ Live Life Like you Have Imagined.  Thoreau]

Now, as for practicing courage, that is a pendant hanging in the wings of my brain.  Courage in my art would mean taking steps to put it out there.  I see artists all over the internet of EVERY range of talent, putting it out there and taking risks.  That gives me courage.  Of course, some are masters, which I am not (yet).  But some are everyday artists, like myself, forging a path.

It would take courage for me to:
*     enter a juried art show
*     enter any art show
*     sell my art in public, like at art fairs
*     put my work on Etsy

My first act of courage will be to put some work on Etsy.  I have an Etsy account, which is currently quite empty.  For future reference it is at  My goal is to put some work there by late October of this year.

My Facebook group has agreed to post on a common theme monthly in a "blog circle".  Each of us links to another in the group.  If you follow the links, you make it full circle back to the person you started with.  My person is Kelli Watcherson. You can link to her here.  Go ahead... make a circle.  It will be fun.   And... watch for it.  Once a month, the 3rd Thursday of every month.


  1. I can't wait to see your Etsy shop! I think your art is fabulous and when you put it out there you'll find that others think so, too!

  2. Congrats on opening an Etsy shop + getting ready to sell some of your art. How great. I really love your art. Mostly, though, I loved the reminder that we need to do this for ourselves. For the love of it. :)

    Thank you!

  3. Looking forward to seeing you lovely works on art on Etsy. It is a very big step to start putting your work up for sale but it's a great one!

  4. Your art is wonderful Jean and I have put you in my Etsy circle already so that I will see when you update your shop.

  5. I love your art...congrats on your Etsy shop.
    a fellow flyer

  6. This is a wonderful post, I like how you start it out being confident in your art and go into the courage it takes to put it out there. Your painting is great as well! I also wrote about etsy on my blog circle post. It takes a lot of effort to post on etsy and courage. I wish you all the best at etsy. Your art can totally sell!


  7. Mom, I love this art piece! I am proud of you for doing something new and putting it all out there! I also brought you ephemeral from Dubai and Ethiopia to inspire you to paint something for me :)

  8. Great post Jean. Loving your artwork too. And the quote by Thoreau, my favorite!!

  9. Jean, I love how you see your life as one of luxury... how awesome. You worked hard, raised a family... now it's time for you. I love that. I'm thrilled that you are going to be courageous and open up your Etsy shop. I congratulate you for this big step you are about to take. Your work is beautiful and I can't wait to see more of it. I added you to my Etsy Circle. Enjoy the process and most of all have lots of fun. :)

  10. I see you've already listed two gorgeous pieces in your Etsy shop! Hooray for making goals and meeting're on a roll. So happy to have met you, Jean! ♥

    1. Thank you, Shelly. My learning curve is huge. It takes me a DAY to post one picture. I am stuck getting the right photo and resized properly. Still don't think I have that nailed.