I was asked to be part of a live competition. The competition was to take a refrigerator that had been turned in for recycle and paint the outside of it to bring awareness to the program. This was during First Fridays which is when the Crossroads in Kansas City fills full of people to see art in the galleries and shops.
Three artists were asked. I happened to be one of them. This is so far outside of my comfort zone. I don’t paint live and I’ve never painted a refrigerator. Of course I said yes. I do believe that doing things outside of our comfort zone is when we start really growing.
Once I gave my answer I started sweating it. I brainstormed some ideas and came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea. Then I got called to go help my mom (she had reconstructive knee surgery). Before I realized it, the event had snuck up on me and I wasn’t really prepared with more than an idea.
I began to do what most good artist I know do, and that is panic at the last minute. The night before I completely changed my mind on what I was going to do. I second guessed myself and decided it wasn’t good enough. After all, I know the work of the other two artist and they are good. I just don’t want to be laughed off the stage. Some tears were shed and some tantrums thrown.
Then my trusty knowing partner said, “why don’t you just do what you do”. Huh. There’s an idea. Make it simple. Paint what I’m known for? That just seems to easy.
So the next day in the melting heat I hopped on stage with my fellow artists. We were each given a fridge and an hour and 1/2 to complete our project. I decided that a recycled fridge needed one more life. Not only did I paint it, I also turned it into a mobile library.
I didn’t win (and I didn’t expect to), but I wasn’t laughed off the stage. I felt some serious growing pains and think I have painting live out of my blood for awhile.