Frustration, Failure and Faith

Status

I looked back on my last post…almost 3 months ago. I had just entered my Pipes drawing titled “Interconnected” in a show that was located an hour away. A close friend of mine went with me to see the jurors big reveal as to who made it into the show and who received awards.  I was excited, as I walked through the gallery I did not see my peice.  That meant either I received an award or I was not accepted.  The juror explained what she was looking for.  “Did the picture set a mood?”  Or “did it convey a message?”  Not looking good.

This particular juror was a watercolor artists and a realist.  Typically I am a realist but I went a different direction with this one.  As each were revealed it became slowly apparent that not only did I not win an award I did not even make the show.  I put on my mature looser face as we browsed through the show and had some snacks.  Once the amount of time had passed to be polite I retrieved “Interconnect” from the closet of rejected works and headed home, tail tucked.

This rejection followed a previously dismal showing as the “Artist of the Day” at another local festival.  My ego was stomped, bruised, bashed…you get the picture.

I decided to take a break.  Time passed and the break grew.  I just couldn’t get the desire back.  My teaching job soon resumed and my time disappeared.  Lost and overwhelmed I have been battling a defeated cloud ever since.  I know all artists go through these moments.  Why is it so hard to shake.  Where is my faith?  Where is my belief in who I was created to be?

I allowed one persons opinion of one drawing to defeat me.  To completely rob me of my identity as an artist, as a person.  One juror didn’t pick my picture.  Big stinking deal.  Was I created for her?  Nope.  I was created for a purpose and I am pretty sure it wasn’t  for the approval of one person.  I was created to create.  It is who I am. It is who I was meant to be.  To be less and to do less leaves me empty, lacking purpose.

So where is my faith?  It never left me it just got a little pushed back underneath a cloud of doubt.  So, I won’t have enough art to apply for a fellowship this year.  It doesn’t change a thing.  I am still going to create just as I am being re-created everyday.

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Cue the choir it’s the big reveal!

Ahh! Can you hear the choir holding out that long note and see a yellow light slowly getting brighter as if the sun were dawning in super fast speed?  It is the big reveal day!

It all started about five years ago when I bought a guitar that was greatly abused. The finish was dotted from BB shots and the wiring had come unsoldered.  To those of you who know something about guitars it was a Lyons by Washburn and had tribal art on it.

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I decided I would reclaim it, so to speak.  After removing the neck, all the hardware and electronics it was time to find out what was under the paint.  I read and Googled and read some more.  I then choose a process of removing the finish I had never heard of before, blow torching.  It was so much fun!  Just like popcorn flying everywhere and in no time at all the finish had popped off down to bare wood.

I really do not want to bore you with all the details but I do want to hit the highlights.  Yes, they are brutal but if you look closely they have a beautiful quality about them.  Not only do most plants that have thorns produce brightly colored flowers but the vines themselves have wonderful details.  I drew the design and outlined it with a hobby knife. I have always had an appreciation for thorns.  After lots of tedious hours of sanding and carving this is what I ended up with before finishing.

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I finally made my decision on finishing it off by torching it and using a satin poly. A friend of mine recommended a Seymore Duncan pickup and set it up for me. This is the final result.

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I hope to have a video of it being played next post.  As well as the beginning of my next project.

Not that I want to over think this process but when I began with this project this guitar had all the signs of a rough life.  If had skulls and beat up marks and didn’t even play.  It was a long process but with lots of loving care it has become a beautiful work of art.  It progressed quickly at first and then sat wrapped gently in a soft towel, protected, unfinished and unknown.  With it finally out and finished I want to proudly show it off.

Let God give you that re-purposing.  It may take a long time but do not be content with being protected and set aside.  Step out of your comfort zone and BE so He can proudly show you off.