Artists Who Worry About Audience Approval Will Never Be Successful

To thine own self be true! Hallowed words.

Am I chasing validation or am I truly creating?

Am I pleasing you or am I pleasing my inner soul…my creative vision?

“Do you like it?” A phrase I must never utter or think. I will never be free to create living in that mindset.

My newest paintings are abstract. Not what I usually paint. The comments can be harsh. “What does that mean?” “I like your other work better “.

But I can’t worry about what others think. After all I am an artist!


My mind is a monkey mind.

I know it's my ADHD. There is a quality of my life that resembles a circus. I'm always trying to train those monkeys to perform the right way. Okay you guys get yourselves in order.

I actually become the lion tamer trying to force my creativity to perform. Not only to perform but to kick ass perform.

Here's where pressure to be a creative genius sets in. In other words here comes the artist block! I HAVE TO DO THE BEST PAINTING OR DO NOTHING! So I do nothing.

The monkeys are doing nothing so out of boredom they start to act out. Avoidance creates havoc and chaos. I end up hating myself for being unproductive. It's a great big circus ring ready to explode.

My thinking is creativity needs to be a high experience with lots of bells and whistles going off. There's no sanity. There's no peace. Every work of art has to be created from a psychedelic experience. Don't forget I come from the original hippie lifestyle. The Magical Mystery tour. But it's becoming clear that flying by the seat of exploding pants is not working.

So that is why I am choosing to study a blade of grass. Slow down get off the merry go round. Be a quiet painter. I cannot be a superhuman artist. Study a blade of grass.

Here are plein air paintings done with the mindset of "study a blade of grass ".


imageWhat are you doing to inspire others?  When I’m in self absorbed fear I’m in trouble

My Mind is a bad neighborhood  is yours?  Well get the hell out of Dodge NOW!!!

I realize that when I’m looking to be inspired what I really need is to inspire someone else.  So I spent yesterday being of service to my latest fearless artist Beth Gallager.  Beth doesn’t worry about being perfect – she is so happy being in her art zone.  Doing art has enhanced her life.  Her eyes are focused on seeing the world.  She is out of the cave and alive!  By the way she jumped in and never said those pitiful words “I can’t do art I can’t draw a straight line”

Who have you inspired lately?  An artist is responsible to encourage their communities to stop living in fear and start to enjoy their very special creative selves!





This question makes me want to scream!!  It probably seems like a perfectly innocent question. But when you look at what they are really asking is are you a good artist.  The criteria for good art is money.  How can an artist respond to that question comfortably. They are put in the spot of being judged based on sales. If they didn’t sell it leaves awkward silence.  So it really is nobody’s business if an artist sold.

The other side of that question is “Why do you price your paintings so high? You will never sell?”

They said I would never sell this

This is the merry go round of art.  I’ve been an artist when I did my first drawing on my parents furniture. I never stopped until the thought of supporting myself with art made me give it up.  I paint because I must.  But people are basing art on monetary success. Of course I want to sell.  I’m not giving away my work.  I have been successful in selling a good number of my landscape paintings.  I used to lower prices if the person bargained with me.  I did that out of desperation to sell.  In the beginning all my paintings were priced at $200.  I couldn’t break that ceiling. I was insecure.  I’m happy to say I no longer undervalue my work.  Here are some of my sold paintings priced prosperously.




I received an email yesterday for an offer to buy a painting that was in the last show I did. This is what the email said:

“Hi  I saw this brilliant painting of a field of sunflowers at sunset at the Riverdale Y show this past August. It is so full of energy – fiery like nothing else! And also very moody.” 

This is why I paint. I want to engage the viewer to feel the emotion of the painting. My art comes from my soul and my life.  My art is not a hobby.  That is why I have to give it value and not underprice it just to sell. This painting had a lot of attention and people would try to bargain it down. I wouldn’t do it because it would have taken the value of it down.  I can use the money but who I am is invested in that work of art.  Money can’t be the issue in my art. 

Today I realized that the pain of my childhood neglect and abuse is the value of my art.  I dealt with a very painful childhood by staying in my room for hours drawing and shutting out the world.  I don’t want to get into details but it was a very lonely life and I did try to kill myself at the age of 8. So it was bad.  My mother left me with my grandmother who had mental illness and she would yell or hide in the dark kitchen ignoring me. She never fed me until my mom came home from work.  This is when I went into my world of fantasy and started to stay in my room for hours drawing. I had no friends because they were afraid of my grandmother and it was a hoarder house. So this was my art school training. Self taught talent that got me accepted into the High School of Art & Design in 1966. 

I must value my art. I have always put myself down because I never went to college.  I never pursued my art and blocked it out for 30 years.  Now I am out of the cave and have seen that my work is really good. Why would I undervalue it. It is very emotional to me and it is created not just for money but as the expression of who I am from the depths of my childhood pain.