It can be really scary being raw and authentic. I’ve been pondering this recently and I can’t figure out why it’s scary. You’d think that just being yourself would be the easiest thing in the world since, after all, then you have nothing to hide. You just show up as you are.
I think what makes it scary is life experience. You show up as you are until something happens that makes you perceive yourself as less than and the next time you show up with a mask on. That mask gets built on and built on until you lose yourself. I am pretty sure that’s what went on in my life until I recognized it and decided to start taking all the masks off.
Scrubbing years of perceptions, judgements, conclusions, and conditioning off takes diligence, practice, willingness and tons of courage. As an artist my authenticity shows up most readily in my work. When I paint an intuitive piece I get out of the way and allow the piece to unfold. Each piece tells me when it’s finished. Sometimes I don’t understand what I paint but the recipient of the painting always does! My judgements and perceptions invite me to look at my own work through all of those masks. My the art is meaningful and speaks to the person for whom it was intended- they always love it – and so I’ve learned not to judge my own work so much.
Slowly, painting by painting, I am unlearning judgement and conditioning. Sharing my art with the world is expediting this process because it goes straight to the core of my authenticity and I think that’s what feels so raw and uncomfortable sometimes. Every new painting is an opportunity to step into the authentic, unapologetic truth of who I am. It feels like I’m climbing a spiral staircase ( I love those, don’t you?) and I don’t quite know when I will reach the top or what I will find when I get there, but the anticipation is far outweighing the turmoil now. And that’s progress!