Do not quit. You see, the most constant state of an artist is uncertainty. You must face confusion, self-questioning, dilemma. Only amateurs are confident . . . be prepared to live with the fear of failure all your life.

–William Ormond Mitchell

The toughest patch of uncertainty in this artist’s life is usually those few days right before a show is set to hang. My studio has become a staging area full of newly minted paintings, my carefully crafted cast of mute players who must perform their work without the benefit of spoken language. It’s a performance that is more vibrational than expressive. And at some point you look around and ask yourself, is this really going to come together? And more directly: What if it doesn’t?

That response is right on cue says my friend Cindy, a consummate theater actor and director. She says it is during those last rehearsals before opening night when she is suddenly struck by the convincingly horrific thought that this will not grow wings and fly out on its own. But then something happens, and it does. Most of the time.

And there’s the rub.

This is a solo show and it will go up on Saturday. (For those of you in the Boston/Cambridge area, show details are posted on Slow Painters.)There’s some key assets that matter a lot, like having a gifted and experienced curator. And the space itself is inviting, a favorite venue for viewing art. But I’m still feeling restless, unsettled, unsure.

Finding the quote up top by Mitchell helped my mood and outlook. It makes it easier to belly up to the bar. ( I found this quote once again at the most reliable source for succinct and deeply resonating wisdom, Whiskey River.)


Celebrating the belly: This beautiful belly, now a memory, belonged to my niece Celeste until last Sunday’s extraordinary performance that produced a winning and utterly beguiling daughter, Gigi. For more photos, check out Celeste’s blog, Babycatcher.

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