watercolor of black and white cat by emily weil

daily painting | benny

I woke up this morning with a revolutionary thought. What if, just for today, I believed that everything I was doing was right and good? If, instead of constantly doubting and criticizing myself, and thinking I should try/work harder, I practiced having complete faith in myself? Now I know from books I’ve read and interviews I’ve heard with brilliant creative folks and personal conversations I’ve had that I’m hardly alone, questioning who I am and what I do. I know an artist who is that rare combination of being both brilliant and financially successful and I heard her mutter to herself words of self-criticism and self-doubt (I don’t think she knew I could hear her, it was a group setting). I was amazed that she of all people questioned herself. So it’s kind of a chronic condition of being human, I think. Especially for someone who bares all, exposing him or herself whether on stage or as a writer or a visual artist. It’s risky. It’s an act of vulnerability, and most of us humans avoid it, creating clever facades of protection. I aspire to embrace the experience, though. To have an open heart and to honor and accept and trust myself and create art from a place that’s deep inside. That’s a helluva thing, isn’t it? Takes ovaries. Wish me luck. I can always pull out my trunk full of Halloween masks if needed.

[This is Benny, commissioned by a friend as a gift to his wife for Valentine’s Day. Benny thinks he’s a dog, has a hilarious parallelogram mustache, goes with the family on neighborhood walks and jumps into the car with mom and dad to go to the drive-through coffee shop where the baristas give him kitty treats.]

7″ x 10″ ink, watercolor, pastel, pencil on paper