Hummingbird painting by Denise Hopkins

“Flighty” 12×12, oil on 1.5in canvas $150   Buy Now

Last night and all day today I’ve been particularly pessimistic, which is funny considering my “I love my life” post from yesterday. Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed (which is what I told Ezra, who, bless him, kept trying to figure out which side was the right side and which was the wrong), but that inner critic keeps being, well, a jerk.

577584a469eea9cae51e1433ee84d720One of the most important daily practices that I have (other than painting, of course) is looking at other artists’ work online. It’s taught me more than all my art classes combined. It’s also bruised (obliterated) my ego. And made me humble, which is why I’m going to keep doing it.

I still have the exact same resolve. I’m still committed. I still want to paint. I still like it. If it wasn’t hard, I probably wouldn’t find it half as rewarding.

So when my inner critic starts with her angsty teenagey rants about meaninglessness and inadequacy, I am overwhelmingly grateful for all those other voices of support and motivation– from people I know and love, and some I’ve never even met. God, I’m grateful. Sometimes I have to remember to listen to those voices every once in a while.

Making art and showing it to people is an exercise in vulnerability. Doing it every single day can be downright draining. I think it’s time to watch my favorite TED talk again. The one about vulnerability. Oh, and I painted a hummingbird.