|©Robin Edmundson, 'Tetrad Floral', watercolor, 24 x 18 inches. |
For much of my life I have tried to live under the radar. It was safer that way.
There were a lot of rules:
- Don't show off
- Shine, but not too brightly
- Be great at what you do, but not the best
- Let men be the leaders and always defer to what they say
- Smaller is better [translation: Lose weight, lots of weight]
- Invisible is good
- Never ask for attention
- Don't be proud of what you do
- Big work = Big [very visible] mistakes. Work small so your mistakes are small
These rules are all shame-based and for 50 years, I was really, really good at shame. I'm breaking a lot of these rules lately.
I don't want you to think that I just woke up one morning and said 'Screw the rules!' and made some changes. Confronting a lifetime of shame and changing how you think [about everything!] takes a lot of courage. A lot of time. A lot of patience. A lot of great teachers. And a lot of baby steps.
One of these baby steps was to decide to paint bigger. Risk bigger, visible failures. So, I bought a few blocks of larger paper so I can work in an 18 x 24 inch format, which I have found that I love. I've been trying new subjects [more florals] and I've been playing big. And making big mistakes. And I don't care [as much as I used to. :)] The painting above is one of my new, larger pieces. It started as a color experiment while I was teaching a Color Harmonies class here at my studio. At one point, I 'ruined' it but I kept working on it. It was so freeing to work on that lovely big paper! Bonus - I think I'm doing better work.
Working bigger is helping me to take the next step in my healing process. Working bigger lets me see that I can, maybe someday, live bigger and heal bigger.