Anyway, next came The Goofy.
He carefully walked around the studio and looked at all the work I'd recently hung, and said really nice things about that work and also the monster in progress. He tried to look at the Dorothy painting (below) temporarily propped against the wall on the floor. I probably pointed it out to him in the first place because I was talking about which work was new.
I said, "Oh, you can't really see that painting down there on the floor!" and I scooped it up. He nodded, kindly. But did I hold it up for him to see? Oh, no.
This is where The Goofy kicked in. With the painting under one arm I bounced from wall to wall like a caffeinated goldfish in a too-small bowl. Ostensibly I was looking for a blank spot to hang the piece at eye level. And there was no such place, because I've got the studio walls totally full.
But I keep circling like I'm somehow gonna spot the perfect place to put down this painting so my artist friend can see it. If I just circle hard enough.
Before I topple over from dizziness, the Small Still Voice that fills me in on what I'm really doing with my life issues a bulletin. you. are. hiding. your. painting.
Me? Hide a painting? What? WHAT? So I put the painting down someplace and resolve to figure it out later.
It's later now. OK, I hid the painting. I don't doubt my Small Still Voice, it is much smarter than I am. But this is the same painting I happily showed to the Elvis people, and have blogged several times, and I think I posted it in the EBSQ forum... I don't know if I would want it to be the one painting that represents my work for all time to all people, but I have felt pretty good about it.
So, now, it is not hard for me to see what happened. I saw his card invite with his grown-up, elegant, lovely work and flipped. I thought there is no way my Dorothy painting is ok for someone who does... grown-up elegant lovely work. (Did I mention his sophisticated, controlled palette? And yummy brushwork? Oh dear.)
So, The Goofy kicked in and I hid a painting and who knows what I said. I was in ambulatory panic mode. Protecting my Dorothy. But she didn't need protection, especially not from this nice person.
I (maybe) (definitely) needed a Time Out. I coulda made coffee or something while I reminded myself of artist-colleague basic principles, like "we all do different work and that is a good thing" and "we can love work that is very different from our own and most of us do" and "with art there is no right answer".
Note to self: make coffee next time.
I want, need, and value my artist colleagues so, SO MUCH! Screw that true-artist-works-in-heroic-solitude noise. I can't DO this alone. But from time to time one of my artist colleagues, usually unwittingly, takes me by the hand and leads me directly to My Personal Pile of Goofy. Which I then get to pick through and sort.
Eventually The Goofy morphs into art supplies or life wisdom or blog entries. :)