Dripping Away by Victoria R Wolf 2-12-24 800

Loving Things I Don’t Like

Drip. Drip. Drip. I used to hate drips.

Water drips, of course, are annoying, but when I saw dripping paint on a finished painting, I was never a fan, and didn’t understand why.

Until I added paint drips to my painting. Go figure. Look at all the drips in Dripping Away below!

Dripping Away by Victoria R Wolf 2-12-24 800

I have learned that sometimes, the things I strongly don’t like are things I am actually scared of.

Dripping is raw and messy. Internally, I am raw and messy, but externally, I am the opposite. I present myself to the world in a very controlled way to protect myself from harm. 

In my experience, showing my raw and messy parts opened me up to attack. I have been dismissed, demeaned, minimized, critiqued, and made fun of by others when I have shown the vulnerable, hidden parts of myself.

I feel we all have raw and messy parts and they are as beautiful, if not more, than the put-together parts. But, many of us humans, seem to only want to see the pretty.

So, I embrace the drips.

Greeen Nevermore by Victoria R Wolf 1-27-24 original

Green Nevermore was my first painting to include dripping.

Dripping is not the only paint technique I formerly hated. Scribbling, or more correctly called mark-making, used to drive me crazy. I didn’t understand why then, but I do now: again, it’s messy and raw.

Last month, I started adding marks to my paintings, and I fell in love with the technique. So, at least when it comes to painting, I have learned to run quickly toward something that scares me or irritates me. 

When I include mark-making and/or paint dripping into my paintings, I feel like I am expressing more of the raw and messy parts of myself. Putting those aspects of myself into the world is scary for sure, but it is necessary for me to stay on my path of self-discovery by not hide away what I think others will not approve of.

It’s interesting that the fear I feel when I diss techniques that scare me completely fades away once I embrace and incorporate them. The fear transforms into pride, and I ask myself how I can take the technique further, revealing even more of my messiness.

I’m not sure what my next “geez, I hate that” moment will be, but I am always on the lookout for it. I feel in my bones that exploring and sharing the real me, the messy, raw Victoria, is critical to advancing my art.

Now, if you’ve read my book, you may be thinking, “Didn’t she get real, raw, and honest in her book?” And you would be correct to pose that question. I did not hold much back when I wrote my book, so how could I have fears about revealing too much of my inner self in my paintings? I get it, that does not compute. I’m going to go with “new medium, new challenge” as my explanation for it. And maybe in a future blog, I’ll have a better answer.

Have you experienced things that scared you which you later embraced? I would love to hear your story!


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