Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nags Head Antique-6x8-SOLD

$75 unframed

One of the oldest cottages on the Nags Head beachfront. how can you not love those orangey roofs against that blue sky. and the shutters held open with skinny sticks. love 'em! done a few months ago while on the Outer Banks.

November Glow-8x10

$275 unframed

contact me about availability if you like this one

Some houses lit up in the november afternoon sun on the swansboro waterfront. the light was beautiful today and afternoons in the fall are glorious to paint.

Just got back from the big Art of the Carolina's gig i was doing last week in raleigh teaching workshops, doing demo's at the Lukas paint booth, doing meet and greets at the dvd booth, and shooting a bunch of free art lessons for Jerrys Artarama Online.

a funny thing happened to me and its thrown me for a loop, as we say here in the south.

i got recognized everywhere i went and the dvd's were selling like hotcakes. workshops were well attended, and i was on a high during the whole thing. i felt like a rockstar. i left and headed home on cloud nine and i kicked back sunday and took the whole day off thanking God for my fifteen minutes of fame.


monday morning i hit the proverbial "WALL". i'd heard of this wall from other artists on their blogs but had never experienced it or even knew what they might have been alluding to.

its real!

the sense of letdown, doubt and exhaustion. wow! i couldnt even paint that whole day. its as if i had forgotten everything i knew, the complete struggle to even get paint down. i had several wipers that day,that morning i couldnt get my hands to stop shaking, the drawings sucked, compositions worse. i couldnt believe it! nothing was working. then a double dose of confusion and doubt hit me. came home and immediately started double-dosing my St. John's Wort to even out my mood. Today was not much better. did (above) November Glow, feeling like i was painting for the first time. ive never experienced anything like this, and dont know whats going on.

if having people know who you are does this to you, count me out. i'd rather paint away in complete obscurity than go thru what i've just gone thru. its terrible.

any other painters who've gone thru this let me know what's what by commenting below. i'd love to know what you did to knock down the "wall".


Justin Holdren said...

Mike, I've spoken with other well-known artists about this, who have had their 15 minutes of fame. It seems to be the realization that everyone is watching what you do and you are instantly aware that you need to keep the level of your work consistently awesome since your name is now a "brand" of sorts. Now your work is always awesome, but one artist told me it was just that the recognition kind of messed with his head a little bit when he went back to painting and he wasn't satisfied with his work that day. I'm not well known so I wouldn't know personally, this is just what another artist told me. I'm sure it's differnet reasons for each artist. Have a great day man!

mike rooney studios said...

justin- i think you might be onto something. man, youre out there doing what you do and its so easy breezy and all of a sudden you've got people telling you that theyre watching everything you do. thats scary.
my head is definately messed up but i'll just get back down to painting four paintings a day everyday and i'm sure this self doubt will evaporate. i've always thought that good painting's arch enemy is self-doubt during the process. i heard a "bad" passionate/confident stroke was better than a "good" unconfident one. now i know from personal experience thats 100% correct
the fifteen minutes is OVER! thanks man!

Steve said...

Mike, the "wall" is temporary if you/we truly love what we are doing. It's a mechanism telling you that you might need to recalibrate, get back to making sure your personal scale is balanced, make sure priorities are intact. I'm thinking the adrenalin "high" from last week threw a monkey wrench into things for you, but don't be fooled by that stuff. You've taken doing what you love to do and made it your living thanks to your marketing skills, which puts a lot of pressure on you. I'd be tempted to take a couple of days, off, go wind-surfing or fishing or just lay on the beach, hang out with froneds, go to church and let my mind work out the kinks. I bet after you dial down the volume a little, you'll feel better, see things clearer, and get back on level ground. It's not just art and artists-no matter what we do that we love, we need to take a mental-health time out once in a while.
And maybe shave off our beards if we have them LOL.
We'll all be here. You're not going anywhere, we're not going anywhere, galleries aren't going anywhere. Nothing is so urgent that you can't take a little time to do what you need to do for yourself.

mike rooney studios said...

thanks for the advice. so far taking a little time off seems to be winning out over my "paint four a day until its gone" idea.
i didnt take into account the adrenaline high i was on last week. my painting was feeling labored and difficult to concentrate. that could be causing the decompression problems. appreciate your input. youre a good cyber friend (thats someone who's a friend you wouldnt recognize in the mall if they walked right by you!)

Catherine Williams said...

Mike, I just read about the "wall" and trust that it has tumbled down and is now covered with vines and in one of your wonderful paintings. It does make sense that you have had a low after such a high .....after a lot of preparation, hard work and recognition when working on about anything, it can feel flat, empty and depressing after the relief of finishing and the accolades of a job well done. It doesn't make sense but does seem to happen after times of intensity. Take care of yourself and thanks for the coffee and council last week. You are the best and are so generous with your knowledge .

mike rooney studios said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mike rooney studios said...


thanks so much. youre very welcome for whatever counsel i can give. i want to see you go far! congrats on your great show!