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Ruth's Art Blog, "It Makes Me Think"

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Who are you painting for?
First attempt
By Ruth Hugeback
Posted on 11/11/2020 8:54 AM
     What if your first attempt is very, very bad?  Does that inspire you do try again or does it make you frustrated?  For me, the answer to that question depends on my emotional investment in the outcome - how important it is to me to be successful.  If you ask me onto the dance floor, for a conga line at a wedding, I don't care if I look like a clumsy, clown.  Looking silly at something new is fine.  Unless, unless, that thing is very, very important to me. 
      There are things I would love to do with great success, write a book, run a marathon, give a moving, inspirational speech.  These things are so far from my obit, so far from my capabilities, that I know I will never succeed, so I don't even want to try.  Does that sound like a frustrated 4 year old?  It makes me wonder if I will ever grow up.  When it comes to art, I like trying new things but I can turn into a 4 year old if I fail where others are having success. 
     I have learned to turn off that charge of emotion - that zing of anxiety by stepping into my other skin.  If I really try, I can, for a time,  become my other self, the one who is mature enough to not be afraid of failure, who isn't afraid to look silly.  With a few deep breaths, I can climb into that other self, slip into that other skin and open my eyes to the joys of the clumsy clown.