Collage · Collage - From Trash · Miscellaneous · Mixed Media

UGH…another art class with drama from my inner critic

class reunion mixed media collage carol a more 2017
Collage/Mixed Media

“Class Reunion”
Carol A. More, Artist

Yep, I took another art class and I think I have this ‘thing’ figured out. It has to do with managing my expectation. So, based on the sorry, self-pitying attitude I copped in my cold wax/oil painting class two months ago, I sat myself down before this weekend’s class and had a good, stern talk.

Manage your expectations

This class was about layering. In a journal format. With fluid acrylics. And a $20 materials fee payable upon entry. In cash. Two of the longest days of my life.

Why, you ask? I’ll cut to the chase here because I know you want to read other blogs before your life expires. I show up with my can’t-seem-to-drop-it-I’m-in-charge-because-I-was-once-a-corporate-executive attitude. Introductions started the 2-day class, and it went downhill from there for me. I have to be so competitive and such a show off. I’m working on it but somewhere in the folds of my gray matter, I must be getting something out of that posturing so it keeps coming back over and over again.

Me: “Hello everyone (cheesy, sparkling smile you can see right through), I’m Carol More, and I began creating art in a fire-y frenzy in 2010 and haven’t stopped. And I have a piece in a Chicago gallery and another in a Los Angeles gallery and the first JURIED (I’m sure my voice was shrill by now as I maintained eye contact with all) show, one of my two submitted (who the hell cares, Carol?!) pieces was selected…blah blah blah…”  I can’t believe I didn’t worm in the fact that only 9% of the submitted artwork was selected, but trust me, I dropped it on the dime during the two days more than once. Lord have mercy on my arrogant and self-important, boring soul.

The teacher was excellent and of course demonstrated things I already knew (yeah, right). I brought my current show-off-y, art style to the table and rushed through my huge box of extras (bigger than anyone else’s), used just about everything I had in my bag of tricks. On a double spread journal page. The first day. My art looked horrible. Self-critic aside, it looked awful. I blew through all the recommend techniques offered by the instructor (he is not known for his overworking a page which is what attracted me to the class in the first place, right?) and honestly, I was sure I had a better way. I’m baring my soul to y’all here, have mercy.  Discouraged and quiet by days’ end, I pouted to my truck and drove home, resolving to actually start over the next day and this time…I would follow the teacher’s layering path.

Arrived bright and early the next morning full of (fake) humility and resolve to slow my butt down and actually welcome techniques that would allow my work to be less cluttered. I wasn’t in the door 2 minutes before I brought my phone out and practically wrangled the teacher to view my ‘art’. His face was impassive and I even saw a flicker of disinterest and thought I saw a convo bubble above his head that read “What is wrong with you, lady?”. Wilted again (my ego is huge I confess) I asked myself WHY I had to do that? The answer loud and clear:

“You felt you were a failure yesterday and after building yourself up to screaming-crowd universal popularity, you felt you had to gain control again, didn’t you, Carol? Carol, I’m seeing a pattern here…and it doesn’t work.”

The Inner Critic

Yep, my inner critic is a masterful bully.  Is it any wonder that every time I have a reading with a psychic or tarot card reader, they all place a warm and gentle hand on my hand and say with compassionately-make-me-cry eyes, “You’re way too hard on yourself.”

So…nope, the work above is NOT from my recent art class and YEP, I learned several techniques I can use in my future work and NOPE, I didn’t keep any of the stuff I created in my class and YEP, I met some of the most wonderful fellow-artists in that room … once I left my ego in the truck and began to allow their lovely inspiration to penetrate and work its magic.  Sigh. Life brings lesson after lesson after lesson after lesson….Love to all and wishing YOU some magic!

Until we blog again…..XOXO



11 thoughts on “UGH…another art class with drama from my inner critic

  1. Lovely art work Carol. There’s lot’s of lovely interesting things around the edge of your collage but I find myself continually drawn to the blank square in the middle… ! Sorry the art class didn’t work out too well. I wish there were more art classes to join where I live…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m ashamed to complain. We live in an artist-rich area and I could literally take a class every single week and never take them all. I learned a lot from the class and my disappointment is 100% my problem! 😀 And you can always visit me (and stay here too – I have an entire floor/suite for guests visiting!) and take as many classes as you desire or from the looks of things, you could TEACH here as a guest artist.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh and thank you, Evelyn for the compliment. I put that white square deliberately there after taking a class on ‘focal point’. The instructor wanted something flashy…so I figured what’s flashier than a white block!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can feel that white square pulling me in – it’s a very clever design element Carol, so well done for that. My sister has lots of art classes/workshops where she lives – I would love to have just half of what she has available to her… never mind… ! As for teaching as a guest artist, it’s lovely of you to think I’m good enough for that… maybe someday I might consider myself good enough to teach others but for now I know I have so much to learn… ! And thank you for inviting me to visit, very kind of you, perhaps it might be possible someday…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope so, Evelyn. Please know you’d be welcome anytime. And while you continue to learn new things, you ARE already teaching on your blog. Ahhh, you’re incredibly beautiful photos! You’ve certainly inspired me with your lovely posts and ‘experiments’ in color and texture. I’ve gratefully used color combos from your work I wouldn’t have thought to use. Truly sincere that your art is very special.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well we all want to be noticed and to feel like what we do has some meaning. We just go about trying to fill those needs in different ways.
    I too like the piece above. There’s that space to fill again! (K(


    1. Thank you, K, for understanding. We have to unclench our fist sometime in order to have an open palm to receive something new, right? And get this….I just signed up for drawing class. Should be some good fodder for future posts!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. MMT: Yes, I have faith and know I can rein in that ego long enough to learn something….get ready though, starting drawing lessons this Friday…ha ha ha ha! And YES, we do need both – what a lovely way you said that. Thank you!


  7. A saying I’m particularly fond of is “the problem is the problem; the problem is your attitude to the problem”. In a similar vein, I believe that the learning is not always what we are learning, it’s what we learn from the experience of the learning.

    Sounds like you got a lot from the class …. just maybe not about art 😉

    Love your way with words, as always xxx


  8. Thank you, Mixy for making so much sense – as usual! I love that saying, too but oftentimes feel the latter part of it (the part about seeing our attitude as a “problem”) causes me angst. And yes, you’re right again, I got plenty from the art lessons…most of it self-awareness of what stands in the way of an authentic, open mind (…..pause for dramatic effect) that is fully in the present moment. After all these years on earth (and lots of great yoga teachers and teachings), I think I’m finally able to understand (I didn’t say I could put it into practice yet!) that the outcome is an illusion leading no where and that each rich moment is the nectar we’ll spend a lifetime seeking. But rarely achieve because we are….so focused on judging the outcome. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! XOXO


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