I have what Louisa May Alcott would have described as enough talent to recognize my lack of genius.

Is this a valid reason to stop what I’m doing?

I don’t know.

I’m staring at my latest painting. It’s not bad. It’s a damn sight better than anything I produced two years ago, when I took this old hobby out of my knapsack, and started doing portraits again.

The resemblance is unmistakable and the expression is spot on. However, the colors are too saturated, the composition is too simple, and the subject matter, which I love, is interesting to a very limited number of viewers.

I don’t know how to take the next steps. I don’t even know what they are.

Should I keep stumbling ahead, or give it up?

I’m not going to give up, but I don’t know if that’s admirable or pathetic.

4 thoughts on “Crossroads

  1. Oy! You’ve only been at this for two years, and look at what success you have already had! All art takes a lifetime of learning and relearning. Who’s to say who is a genius, who is talented, who is just a lover of the process? My touchstone: Does what I’m doing give me joy? That’s genii in genius!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, Carolyn. How I wish I could shut off the tapes from my childhood. “Are you wasting your time again? Do you think your work will ever be important? Significant? Admired? You’re dabbling. Real artists/musicians suffer. They practice. Don’t you see you’re just fooling around?”
      I wonder if I was able to start this again only because I retired, and do not need to focus on “how to make a living.” Nonetheless, I can’t shake the feeling that because I’m “just” having fun I’m wasting my time.
      There is so much happening in the world today that matters more than my painting. There’s so much guilt in this act of self-indulgence.


  2. Prima – as I mentioned my aunt was a very talented painter and I remember her always telling me how hard it was to paint a person and best get their expression. You’ve mastered that! I think you are so very talented. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

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