For a while I was embarrassed about drawing pretty girls in fancy clothes. One of my inner critics insists that this is schoolgirl doodling, not Serious Art. This well educated voice informs me that Art should be intelligent and provocative. My unpolished splats of drawings do not really count. I should not show anything unless it could rise to some level of professionalism, and I could write an essay about it that would be worthy of Art Journals and Galleries.
If I listened to this critic, I would just give up. What they want is not even something I want to do, never mind feel capable of. This critic informed me for years that I would never be a Real Artist.
My Princesses are blockade runners.
Sometimes they help me get a drawing done when I’m stuck on the blank page. They remind me to get over myself and purely have some fun with the drawing. If I’m thinking that Art is hard and Artists have to be a lot smarter, more focussed, more talented than I am, a Princess can remind me that the task at hand is not to be great but to get something onto the paper.
Princesses emerge to please the child that loved The Princess and the Goblin, The Rose and the Ring, the Blue Fairy Book, The Secret Garden, The Silver Curlew.
They please the little girl who wanted to be a vallerina, and dance, and make everyone happy, happy, happy. (Which is the origin of my secret fascination with tutus – the kind that stick straight out like an Elizabethan ruff).
They remind me not to take myself and my drawing practice so seriously. That little girl is still in me, wanting to dance and laugh and sing all the livelong day. These days she’s trying to keep her joyful presence where I can always reach it, even through the anxiety, fatigue, pain, sorrow and irritation that seem to be such ready companions.
Here are my drawings from the past week: