Painting Progress

I realize I don’t really care much for being a beginner! I just want to already know how to do something, not fight my way through making things that don’t look like they did in my head or make the mistakes. Please know I am shaking my head at myself as I write this, somewhat chagrined and chuckling.

I’m sure there are people out there who revel in the beginning part, rising up to learn the new skill, mastering said skill and the moving on to a new beginning.

While working out these ‘scratches and blobs’ I try not to compare to both the images in my head that I would love to paint and those whom I admire. Such as Stephanie Pui-Mon Law who is prolific. And has been painting regularly since she was a little girl.

Comparison is the thief of joy. – Theodore Roosevelt (attributed)

With those words in my mind I showed up today. I opened a new book but didn’t want to ‘ruin’ it, dug through my paints, felt the resistance, felt the tug of doing nothing as usual but pushed through it. Especially once I discovered a pad I tore out of a kit. It has no cover, the edges are a little ragged – just right for ‘ruining’! (see the first picture below)




First drops of paint

Often the fear of not knowing what to do or the fear of doing something wrong stops us in our tracks and keeps us from starting. If we can let go of this fear, we open ourselves up to a much larger world of expression – a world where anything is possible.
– Flora Bowley, Brave Intuitive Painting

I wasn’t sure where to start. I’ve wanted to ‘know how’ to paint I think my whole life. I’ve certainly said “If I could paint what is in my head” often enough. I get overwhelmed by the idea of creating a whole image and then do nothing which just leaves a void and a continued longing.

In the most recent issue of Art Journaling, Winter 2014, there was a spread by a woman who had a lifelong unrequited love affair with watercolors. Her attempts at using them were disappointing and unfulfilling but one day she decided she was going to master this medium and put all her other mediums away. “The materials were simple: watercolors, a waterrush, black ink pens, and a Moleskin diary.”

Spread from Art Journaling, Winter 2014. Artist: Ginn Magante Barber

She set out just using one or two colors, feeling things out. The images in the spread were simple but lovely and looking at them and reading her words I thought ok, this I can do. This is simple, just to start. And I will be doing, not just wanting.

Different reds
Different reds