You are NOT a great painter......
An Artist I admired greatly once told me that.... and at the time he was right, a little insensitive to the feelings of a 12 year old girl, but right none the less. It was not followed up with a BUT or any positive comment to take the sting out of it either. As devastating as it was to hear it, he was right.. I wasn't a great painter....I'm still not a great painter....YET.
I hear students say things like " Oh I can't paint like you." .. or.." I can't do that". How about we begin ending that statement with "YET". It would be closer to the truth and far more beneficial to you. I can't paint like you... YET! or I can't do that... YET! Did you believe that you could ever paint the way you do now?? Probably Not , but here you are.
Artists are our own worst critics, we see every flaw in our work, because we are trained to see it, and it drives us batty! I know for myself I see every crooked line, every wonky float, and imperfect stroke. I know that the shadow on the right should be one value darker I know that the highlight on a few of those grapes is not quite right, and it stands out to me, like a bear on a bicycle! it might as well be waving a flag and singing the Star Spangled Banner. Oddly... none else seems to see it. but it is these imperfections ( real or imagined) that drive us to perfect our skills.
The confidence we gain as we improve, is at times, imperceptible, but it grows... slowly, but it grows.
Growth to an artist is vital, without stretching ourselves, we stagnate. The work becomes nothing more that a rehash of our previous efforts, and we become lethargic and careless. So to alleviate this we try a new colour, a new surface, a new design, a new brush or technique. We advance our skills, we take up coloured pencils, watercolour, oils, mixed media, we try stencils or stamps, or texture mediums, and we venture away from where we started. sometimes wi come full circle, other time we don't, and go wandering down another path to see whats there! After all It is not the arrival that is the important part of this journey.. it is all of the stops along the way that make the trip worth while. Take the classes , try new things, Go to conventions, indulge in the joy of being with others that have the same passion for Art as you do, Practice the one thing that eludes you, buy new brushes, pencils, canvas and ink because you need to try it, because you are Not a Great Painter......Yet.