Learning to Not Fear Painting

Somewhere along the way I had the idea that I couldn’t draw or paint.  I don’t remember exactly where it came from, but I remember bits and pieces.  I remember an art class in high school where we had mini pencil drawings for homework.  We had to draw certain things:  toothpaste, a pencil, etc.  I could never get them perfect, so I never turned them in.  Eventually I dropped the class.

I don’t blame that art class or teacher at all.  I already had it in my head that I couldn’t do it and what I did do wasn’t good enough.  Right now I can think of a hundred different ways to draw a tube of toothpaste to make it interesting.  Too bad the adult me couldn’t go back and talk to the teenage me.

We were lucky enough to have a jeweler as an art teacher in our high school who offered jewelry class.  I was so excited.  I loved making beaded jewelry as child and I was thrilled to try my hand at metalsmithing.  Day one:  draw your design.  I dropped the class.  I feel so sad for the teenage me.  I want to tell her to just do it.  Ironic now, considering my business, I know.  No, I’m not a metalsmith, but I could have been if I wasn’t so scared.

I had a block where drawing was concerned.  A huge, Chinese Wall size block.  My friends were amazing artists.  My home still has paintings from my closest high school friend’s paintings.  I was so jealous of their abilities and talents.

I have no problem with not being good at something.  There are tons of things I will never be good at.  For example, algebra (I still don’t understand why we need it at all.....does anyone use it as an adult?), among many other things.

The problem was I really wanted to be an artist.

I had natural talent at music, so I focused on that throughout high school and college.  I was good at it.  I enjoyed it.  I was passionate about it for a time.  Actually, I’m still really passionate about music, but in a different way.  I learned to play many different instruments.  In fact, there’s a trumpet at Building Character that I just surprised myself at still (sort of) being able to play.  (I was a woodwinds girl, but I learned to play as many instruments as possible.) 

I made great friends, had a lot of fun and have the best memories (and some of my darkest points, too, honestly) because of music.

But I really wanted to be an artist.

Now I’m an adult.  I’m grown.  I don’t really care too much about what anyone thinks of me.  Several years ago I started making jewelry again in my own way.  Some people get it, other people don’t.  That is all fine and perfect.  I’m at peace.  I even draw designs before I make them sometimes - with no fear! 

Several months ago I used an A.C. Moore coupon to purchase a nice watercolors set at a great deal.  I felt brave and that I wanted to try it. 

And it sat there.  Unopened.  Beautiful.  Perfect.  Unopened.
Then I was getting married.  I handmade everything for my wedding.  Every detail.  I had a design for my invitations and couldn’t find the right stamp.  My wedding was green (eco-friendly + the color green!) by the river, and in the woods and I wanted bare trees on everything.  I couldn’t find what I wanted.  Then it hit me:  I’ll paint them.
I tried it and I loved how the invitations turned out.  I also didn’t have a fear in the world that it wouldn’t work out.  I knew it would be perfect and it was.

What’s more, I loved painting.  I love the feel of the bush in my hand.  I love watching the paint get put down on the paper.  It’s not as much about the end result as the process. 

I felt very connected to each and every invitation because I painted each one.  I also designed every other aspect and put them together, too, but I felt most connected with the painting.

I just painted plain brown branches.  And I haven’t really painted anything other than trees so far.  It’s a start, though.  I plan to continue.

I’m sorry that I missed out on all those years of art.  If I would have just done it for myself and not for an art teacher or my artistic friends or anyone else, I could have been enjoying myself much sooner.  I doubt if I would have been an art major instead of a music major, but I would have realized so much earlier that it’s okay to not be perfect.  My favorite artists aren’t the ones who paint realistically anyway! 

If there is something you are wanting to try out:  drawing, painting, scrapbooking, jewelry making, sewing, etc., etc., etc..... DO IT!  Nothing bad will happen, I promise you.  Do it for yourself.  If you don’t like the outcome, don’t show it to anyone!  If you want to try again, do it.

There is nothing to fear, I promise you.  If you are afraid of someone’s reaction, then simply don’t show them.  Do it for yourself!

Do not waste years of your life thinking you suck at something that you really want to do. 

And if you realize you hate it after you try it, you don’t have to do it anymore.  At least you won’t wonder anymore.  You can’t regret not trying if you do try!

If what you are lacking is the knowledge or skills to get going on your artist dreams, then figure itout.  Or make it up.  I mostly make it up, truth be told. 

If you want a little help, check out my digital programs for some help.  I’ll even virtually hold your hand - email me anytime if you get stuck!  If you want to make dolls or jewelry, I’ve got you covered.  (And I’m working on my next big project!  All about keys!  Make keys into all kinds of different jewelry!)

If you want to paint, grab some paint and paper and have at it!  If you want to draw, you can do that anywhere.  Right now, on a scrap paper with the pen laying right next to your computer.  Stop now and draw something.  It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, but it could be. 

It doesn’t have to be complicated or a big deal.  What one little thing can you do to get started on your art path?

  • Cut out a coupon for your art store? 
  • Pick up a pencil and draw? 
  • Purchase a design-a-doll digital program and read through it? 
  • Clear out a space in your home for creating?

Do your first step and let us all know what you’re doing, if you want.  Or keep it to yourself if you want.  It’s not about anyone else, afterall, it’s about you.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

i coulda written this one myself. :) great minds? ;)