Oct 29, 2009

Do you ever feel totally lost in your work?

I do. I do right now. Between taking Nancy's Collage Dreams on Paper class, looking at more art than I have in a long time from all over the net, and then looking at my own, I have no idea what I'm doing or what I want to do. I accidentally ran across my "flickriver" (an alternative view of your flickr images) and I had not seen it before and the first thing that came to mind was that my work looks very amateur, very elementary and awkward. I just can't see it hanging in a show somewhere. I need to really assess what I'm doing and where I want to go with my work. I need to "up" things a notch or two. I'm being impatient I think. This new facebook experience had me get up out of my chair and look at my work and my life from standing on top of the desk (kind of a Dead Poet Society perspective thing) and it all looks so different to me when taken out of the context of our blog and flickr familiarity with each other's work. And Nancy's class, and some input I'm getting there, has me really feeling like I need to keep pushing myself and not get too comfortable anywhere yet in my work. I just don't know what to do next - I'm in a gridlock.

I had this piece almost finished for over a week, before I started working on Nancy's class assignments (that has me throwing everything in but the kitchen sink - it's been very fun but I'm overdoing it a little I think). This piece is very, very simple but I liked it enough to not throw it out. I'm using it for a trade I have coming up.


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 10/29/09. All rights reserved. You may not copy, print, download, or use this image in any way without my permission.
This is a 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 collage using a black and white face from the public domain, a partial body from cemerony.etsy.com, and black and white legs from the public domain. The hat, boat, and wings were purchased from clipart.com owned by Jupiter Images. The ground is from designer Lori Davison of Studio Lori at scrapbookgraphics.com. The grass is from Create Wings and the TV is from Holliewood Studios at Oscraps.com. The background was made by merging layers from flickr's skeletalmass and Neighya.

I'm off to do some more art soul searching. Daughter is still sick, going back to the doctor tomorrow and I have had a headache for over 24 hours now and sore throat all day. I'm grumpy.

Wait! (updated after WW's comment) (which was very nice by the way)
Can't you all read my mind? I always assume you are right there in my head with me. The other half of my thinking, which I didn't explain, is that I've been very comfortable with my work here and with you all. As I started facebook this week, my potential non-art audience completely changed. I don't have hardly anything about my art on my facebook but when someone from my old life asks about it, I see my work in a whole new way - it's very awkward and scary for me to share it with them and I suddenly feel so inadequate. This stems from the fact that most of my family and friends (except for my dear husband and mother-in-law) never talk about my work, hardly acknowledge it and when they do it's a lot of uhuh's, oh's. They don't like it much or think I have much sense in pursuing it, I gather. So, that is where a large part of my doubt is coming from also. If I was just a person walking down a street and saw my art in a window what would I think? Probably the old "I coud do that, what's so impressive about that?" or the "I don't get it".


WW said...

Take two asprin and re-read this in the morning!!
I think you're being waaay too hard on yourself.
"Amateur"??? Now there's a word I'd have never used in speaking of your work.
Love it!!
All of us feel we can always improve and grow, and yes, sometimes feel we're just not "there"! But give credit where it's due. Be proud of what you do. It's beautiful.
None of us are meant to create exactly like anyone else!

Val's Dragonfly Whimsy said...

I would trade with you any day, thats how much I love the artwork you create - the self criticism is unwarranted as far as I am concerned, your creations are gorgeous and I can easily see you work hanging proudly on 'walls'.

We all feel unsure at times, wondering what it is that we are doing and actually trying to achieve, but it passes and then we are back into swing of things.

Don't doubt your creations, I think they are BEAUTIFUL - hugz Val xo

Audrey said...

HI Marsha,

I love your work and don't be so hard on yourself. you have an unique style:)

Shelly said...

Oh my, oh my, Miss Marsha. Sometimes it's like you get in my head. Which makes me want to tell you (just like I think you'd tell me) - quit worrying what all those other folks think and just make art that makes you happy. I have all those college professors and all the zillions of other people who who probably wouldn't "get" my artwork (or even think that it's art for that matter). I'd probably rather run down the street naked instead of showing most of those people my work. BUT! (And not my big ole running down the street nekkid BUT!) I try to remember that there is this HUGE community of people who DO get my work and who do get YOUR work too! I'm positive that the magazines that keep publishing your work left and right aren't just doing it because they have space to fill.

Ok, enough of my rambling... just know that we're all loving your art and you. Oh, and I'll be able to say "I knew you when". :)

And you'll be able to say "I knew her when" when you read about the crazy nekkid lady who ran down the street in middle-of-nowhere Ohio.

Anonymous said...


Ok, for a start, when you have had a headache and sore throat for 24 hours + is NOT the optimum time to assess your work, hmmmm?!

Marsha, you're THE REASON I'm exploring digital art!!

Let me just say that again: seeing your art made me wonder not only how you did it, but left me NEEDING to know more.

(That's not an "Oh, I could probably do that" reaction in any way - that's an "OMG what fabulous work, I am INSPIRED, I want to see more, understand where this person is coming from" reaction.

I don't think your work is in any way "amateur" - in fact, I think your work is very professional, as is your attention to providing copyright details. I would bet that MANY galleries would love to have your work.

Of course you want to improve - no artist wants to stay COMFORTABLE forever! If we get comfortable we don't grow. So yay for pushing, for being in a place (here on the blog and in Nancy's class) where you have reached a point from which to explore further.


You say you don't know where to go next - I say keep pushing, keep exploring. Your style is magical, and it's something only YOU can make. So keep making, yes?

(and have a coupla panadol for the headache, mmmkay?)
with hugs,

Kathy said...

I was stunned by this. I love your art and consider it very professional. Isn't it funny how we can't see our work the way others can? I agree with Shelly. Your art wouldn't be getting published so often if it was the average joe. Nope. I don't agree with you. At all. Have a smack-down with that bad, evil thought you are having. ;o) Kathy

roc said...

i guess everything really is a matter of perspective. i think the artist "gene" in most of us folks who create find all that is wrong with the piece we've done but the true perspective is in the eyes of those who see it as it "is". if we can find a way to critique less, compare less and just do what makes us happy...then we've found our pot of gold.

WW said...

Hope that silly head of yours is feeling better today!!!
You know, we all have those people in our lives that just don't "get" it and don't like/understand what we do at all. I've got a bunch and I bet most folks do.
Yep, once in a while we let them get to us and they create these big questions. Smack'm (not for real..or don't say I told you to) and get them outta your head.
Do your art for YOU. The people who "get" it will most certainly find you and
I believe there are many.
Boy oh boy...I only wish I could say "I could do that". Geesh...I know my limits.
So, do what you do and let the rest of us enjoy it!

Unknown said...

I just Looove your work! I think it is amazing! I feel the same way you do sometimes about my art, I guess we all have our insecurities, but we have to accept the fact that not everybody is going to like what we do, just because someone doesn't get it doesn't mean it's not beautiful!
Your so lucky to be in your shoes!
xoxo Patti

Terri Kahrs said...

Marsha, My Dear Friend! I believe it's part of an artist's soul and spirit to doubt their work from time to time. Of course, there ARE people who don't "get it". A lot of people don't "get" Picasso either, and there are tons of his admirers. It's all so subjective.

Your work is totally professional. You've worked for the right to call yourself a professional artist because you ARE one. I'll just chalk up this post to that nasty case of the "grumpies"!!! LOL! Keep creating!!! Hugs & Love, Terri xoxo

yoborobo said...

Oh, Marsha, the Fine Arts demons have attacked you on Halloween. Be gone, foul tormentors! :) Listen, kiddo, you make a hell of a lot of people happy with your art. Including me. With your ART. ART, Marsha. AAAARRRRTTTT. (repeat endlessly).
xoxoxox pam PS Happy Halloween!!!

Nettie Edwards said...

Marsha, when we don't get support and recognition from our family, it's hard to go "out there" with confidence. All of my life, me being"clever" has been a problem to most of my family. I know that in their own way, they are proud of me but both of my parents are almost blind and only one of my siblings shows any interest in what I do. She totally "gets" and loves it but as far as the others are concerned, they never bother. I think that you suffer from the same problem as I do, you constantly compare your work to that of others and find it lacking. It is not lacking in any way, but I doubt that you will ever believe that! I am doing The Artist's Way at the moment and so am giving myself daily doses of messages such as "I am creating the work that I was put on this earth to create" and suspending the cynical side of my brain for a while. Try it, it really DOES work! We have had private conversations about this Marsha and so I know that you'll understand that i mean no harm when I say that in the end, we just need to be comfortable with who we are and, by extension, the things we make. If we're not comfortable with the things that we make then it almost certainly means that we're not comfortable with ourselves. Having said this, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking our friends to give us support and encouragement when we've lost confidence x

Lori Saul said...

Yes, I feel lost in my work too. That is what makes you an artist. You would never grow if you didn't feel confused and stuck at times. It is hard to view one's own work as other people do and not be critical. I think we have to create art and then let it go and let a new phase of work enter our lives as we change.

Leslie said...

Marsha, you are crazy. I love your work. In fact, I have it hanging in almost every room of my house.

Taluula said...

Marsha she's lovely.

Jill said...

Marsha, I can only second all these wonderful supportive comments. Your thumbnails on my dashboard are always striking and immediately recognisable and always very attractive. You are exhausted from nursing your family and feeling poorly yourself - just go with the flow for a bit, there is plenty of time to evolve,

NancyB said...

Darlin you are way too hard on yourself...Your art is amazing...I have gone though the exact same emotions that you are...I said to myself...I enjoy what I do and I have fun doing it! And there are people who enjoy it which makes it all the much worth while! You have soooo many people who love you and your art...I happily display your art in my little art space...I have more of your art than anyone elses hee hee and I think you know my art space is also my bedroom...so when I wake each morning your art is one of the first things I see and it makes me smile everyday!! So you just keep doing what your doing! YOUR AMAZING! You remember that! Loves ya! And BTW your doing an awesome job in the class! I am WOW-D (new word lol) xoxo

Shannon said...

How you could ever refer to your work as amateur or elementary is beyond me. As you can clearly see from all these comments everyone including myself is a huge, huge fan of your work and I don't think any of us looks on it as amateur in the least bit. Your going through what I went through a few months back, do you remember? You kind of talked me through it. I had gotten done looking at all your work and when I was finished I felt like such an amateur. When you told me I was one of the people who won one of your "Pay It Forward" prizes, I literally felt like I had won the artistic lottery. I'm not kidding. If I could afford to buy one of everything you make, I would. You have no clue how much you inspire me and countless others do you? The one gal made a valid point also, when your not feeling well that is the worst time to evaluate your own work. I think that you've just had a hectic few weeks what with your daughter being ill, finding out bad news about a few friends, not feeling great yourself, and so on. Your drained and you just need to walk away from your art desk for a minute and re-group. You have so many of us who admire you and love your work so much. When you feel like this we will be your confidence for you. Hugs!!