Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Double Dog Dare DONE!

For the month of March, I decided my double dog dare would be to get my first winter tree embroidery ready to drop off in the Jamestown Art Center's Collaboration art show. (I kind of slid that information into this post here.) I dropped it off this afternoon.


A little bit of back story--I thought about entering something last year, but didn't. Both my boys did; my then-six-year-old won first place. This is an open show, which means what it sounds like--it's open to all, as long as you meet the criteria, which is 12"x12" format and a small entry fee. Any medium, as long as the finished piece is 12"x12" and ready to hang. So right from the get-go, this is about as low-stress an art show as you can get. In a juried show, you pay the fee, drop off your piece, and they may say, "So sorry, it's just not right for us," and your piece doesn't even hang. But this is truly open to all.

And still! I very nearly didn't get it done. In the end, the actual work to get it ready to hang did not take a lot of time, but it did take a lot of mental psyching up. I was just so afraid of messing something up along the way...but also, I was just sort of...afraid. I'm not sharing this to get lots of comments on how wonderful this embroidery is, but because it's so easy, I think, for most of us to see what somebody else is doing, whether it be entering a show, selling at a market, opening an Etsy shop, putting together a book proposal, and think, Oh, easy for her to do. Better that we realize it's not easy for most of us, so we don't think all that stuff is for those other people. It's for everybody, if that's what you want. (And really, I can at least be as brave as my kids, right? You can see their entries here.)

So some of the things that flew through my head (and, at times, out of my mouth)? Besides the fear that I would just plain screw up getting it wrapped around the canvas (here's a peek at the back side)...


...I worried I'd have to defend my choice of embroidery as art, that I'd have to explain it wasn't from a pattern (as if a painter would ever have to explain it wasn't a paint-by-numbers piece!), and, worst of all, Who am I to think I'm anything more than just a mother? You know, we'll just leave that right where it is for now. I'm just saying, I said it. And then later, I went and stapled that fabric to that canvas (the piece I embroidered on, by the way, is intact, except for very small stitches holding it in place behind the black piece) and told myself I SAID IT WAS MY DOUBLE DOG DARE AND I'M DOING IT.

Because, though it might just sound like a psychological mind-trick, I'd said I was going to do it, and I hated the idea of slinking in and admitting I hadn't. Because I'd have had to admit it, and the only reason for not dropping this off was fear. And I was driving there anyway, with my kids, to drop their pieces off, and I remembered the saying that you don't regret the things you do in life as much as you regret the things you don't do, and so I dropped it off.

The two women accepting the pieces really, truly seemed to like it. I did not have to defend my choice of medium (of course I didn't). It is sort of, um, obvious that it's not from a pattern. It's, you know, art, and just as deserving to hang on a wall in an art show as anything else.

The opening reception is Friday night. We're all going; I'm so looking forward to it. If you're local, it's at the Jamestown Arts Center in Jamestown, RI, from 6-8 pm.

Double dog dare DONE!

11 comments:

Maegan said...

That's fantastic, Amy! Congrats! Putting your art out there is tough...really tough! It's lovely and you should be very proud....both of the art and the entry!

Carolyn said...

Beautiful,Amy! Congratulations on taking that first step to show your art. Brave woman you are!

Jen said...

YAY!!! Good for you! It did come out beautiful & I understand it being more then "just" the art but the actual steps to get it to the gallery!! I'm hoping to get there this month at some point!

Rose Red said...

Hurrah! Go you! Won't it be fabulous to see it hanging on the wall on opening night!

I need to double dog dare myself too, I think. I keep thinking about entering some knitting in our Easter Show (your state fair equivalent) and I never do, because I think it won't be up to standard. I must follow your lead and just do it!

MadMad said...

Yay for you, Amy! That is great!

Donna Lee said...

I always think of entering something I've made but am always held back (like so many people) by the "i'm not good enough, my work is too amateur" thoughts.

What then amazes me, is that folks like you with all your talent have those feelings as well! I think I'll do the research this year for our local county fair (if we have one) or the state fair and entered one of my own pieces.

Juried shows just scare the hell out of me. And make me mad at the same time. Who gets to judge that some pieces are just "not good enough"?

Michelle said...

Good for you!!!! Oh, that's going to be such a fun night for all of you!

amy said...

Thanks, everyone. Donna Lee, that's exactly why I shared what was going through my head, because I'm pretty sure most of us have the same thoughts. I think you and Rose Red should team up and cheer each other on and both enter your Easter/county fairs. You are both incredibly skilled knitters.

lamina @ do a bit said...

Oh my gosh... I always have mental circles going on in my head about my work... drives me nuts too! You are SO brave to talk about it! I so agree that better to regret what you have done and not what you haven't done! But you have nothing to regret your embroidery looks wonderful Amy!!!

Have a fun Friday night :)

Jen Gray said...

Beautiful ! you amaze me! xo

Bells said...

Isn't it amazing the mental tricks we play on ourselves,or torture ourselves with. Your brain sounds like mine when I am psyching myself up.

Well done you. Good for you battling those demons.