Adding some post-Valentine’s love to your art

by Janet Bonneau in Thoughts on Oil Painting
From my latest newsletter…
Now that all the love letters and cards are over from Valentine’s Day, it’s time to LOVE YOUR ART. I don’t mean that you should artificially inflate your ego tenfold. I’m talking about the moments when you can stand back and look at your painting and say “I really like what I just did, because it taught me something new and I’m moving forward
This can be hard to do, especially for those artists who are constantly outwardly focused (as in ‘will other people like what I’m doing?’) instead of ‘do I like what I’m doing?’
I’ve sort of ‘liked’ my work. I’ve hated my work. I’ve subconsciously tried to hide from my work by stashing bad pieces behind cupboards, yet knowing they’re lurking in the shadows as self-proclaimed arbiters of my worth as an artist. 
There is help for the self-flagellating artist. 
Here’s another great quote from one of my favorite art books:
“To make art is to sing with the human voice. To do this you must first learn that the only voice you need is the voice you already have.”
(Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of ARTMAKING.David Bayles & Ted Orland. 1993)
So the next time you’re heading towards the woodstove with one of your paintings, take a moment to study what the ugly brushstrokes taught you, how the bad composition made the whole painting awkward, and why your values were all wrong. You were singing what you knew at the time.
Keep learning, keep studying, and love your voice.
Happy painting,