For me, I always seem to go to war just a few days before an exhibition. I find myself battling with some bitchy, judgemental, finicky, demanding, impatient school teacher type personality who has very unreasonable expectations! She pushes and pushes until I can't think anymore and knowing that nothing is ever good enough for her , I just want to throw the towel in! I end up exhausted, teary, hungry and all the while running out of time to prepare paintings for hanging!
Problem is, In my mind the work is not ready for showing. I start comparing my work to the exquisitely rendered photographic artwork of other artists that I hold in my mind. I continuously put paint on and take it off in my effort to get the perfect finish while instead it is slowly loosing it's freshness and turning to mud. I tell myself I have come this far, I must fight my demons and see this through to the end!
But, I am learning that doesn't work at all. I mostly end up with slap dash work that I am not proud of and a big headache! So, instead I am getting more familiar with this battle and today I stopped it fair and square in it's tracks and took a more sane approach.
I needed my own love and acceptance of myself and my work, exactly as it is TODAY. I am what I am, and my art work is what it is, and that is how it will be for this exhibition. I took a short break, tried to completely forget about all the difficulties. Then I come back and centred myself by coming into the present moment, letting everything go, especially the bitchy school teacher and prayed, asking what I needed to do next. Staying calm was important for me and waiting to see what ideas come. No rushing or panic or self abuse.
I am learning that if I am not sure what needs to be done next then I LEAVE it alone! I may ask someone what they think, but I must be sure before changing anything. Though I still have many choices to make, I try not to dip my brush in paint till I am 100% sure. This is not the time to be taking risks, exploring new techniques and playing. It is either the right step or it is not. It is better for me to leave the work as it is, maybe not even exhibit that one, if I am unsure.
Finally, I have to accept that I may not yet have the skills required to achieve what I want and that this is not failure. I must work with what I have right now. I can always learn new skills later... after this exhibition. I need to accept that if I keep on learning, my next paintings will be better than the current ones and the time leading up to my exhibitions will hopefully not be so stressful. Now back to it!