I’ve been reading Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, and if you’re an artist, and you’re kind of quiet, and you think that you’re a misanthropic hermit because you enjoy fine art painting in your studio—alone—then get this book and read it.
|Whether your exuberance is expressed outwardly, or whether you rejoice in your inner canyon
spirit, you are normal, and your best art is produced when you create in accordance with who,
and what, you are. Spirit of the Canyon, original, signed limited edition print, miniature study,
note card by Steve Henderson.
According to Cain’s research, one in three persons are introverts (including the author herself), and the word is not synonymous with “shyness” so much as it is with “one who thinks more than he talks.”
Now one thing I’ve noticed about a lot of painting artists—they do think more than they talk, which is refreshing. They also listen more than they speak—the total opposite of standard extrovert behavior, which leads me to wonder, “Just why do we think that extroverts are normal and introverts are not?”
Anyway, while it’s tempting, I’m not out to bash extroverts so much as to encourage introverts, because from the time we plunk down our Play Doh in pre-school, we are told to be more outgoing, “friendly,” gregarious, social, and noisy. And when we’re not, because we prefer to observe first, or to interact within small groups of two or three, or—this makes total sense to introspective persons—to not speak unless we feel that we have something worthwhile to say, then we are repeatedly scolded that we are shy, weird, strange, unfriendly, timid, bashful, reticent, and cold. Talk about profiling.
You are who you are and what you are, and the art you produce is a direct result of the inner core of your being. Take some time—introvert, extrovert, and everything in between—to figure out what that inner core is, and strengthen it, so you discover how to paint, how to act, and how to live as you see fit.