progress and fears

I worked on my painting this morning.  I was scared to start on the Queen Anne's Lace.  I didn't want to ruin the painting.  A painter friend once told me not to get too attached to any piece I'm working on because if I'm not attached, I won't be paralyzed by fear.  I agree with that to some degree, but I like to get attached.  Don't you want to like what you're working on?  In any case, I sat down to paint, despite my fears.  My painting session wasn't as enjoyable as the last two.  I'm going to ruin it kept looping through my head.  I know that I had flashes of panic when working on the sky and the ground, but I worked past that panic and just enjoyed what I was doing.  Maybe I should have kept painting longer today, but I don't think that the fine lines I was working on today would improve with more paint and blending and water. 

So, here is today's progress on my painting.  It's not finished and at the moment I don't know how to progress, but I'll leave it be for a bit.  I'll look at the photos I took as inspiration and think about what I want to do next.  I found another photo I'd taken as a note to myself.  This one taken during the day.

I guess my main problem is that I don't know what I'm doing.  That's my problem a lot of the time.  With crochet and sewing, but I've been playing around with those things for longer than I've been painting.  Paint is such a new medium for me.  How did I learn the other things?  By doing.  By reading books.  By looking things up on the internet.  Guess I'll do the same with painting.  It's good to remind myself that progress takes time. 


  1. Don't know what you are doing? You could have fooled me, Anne! I think this is coming along beautifully!! :))

  2. What Judy said above. AND: not knowing what you're doing means you also don't know what you "can't" do (can't because of - well, there are always rules). You can break rules and not even know they're there! That's been pretty much my approach to all my art: get some basics and then have at. Your medium will teach you. That's all the teaching you need!

  3. This is a beautiful start. Can't imagine what you need to do to finish it because to me it's great as is, but still, when it speaks to you you'll know when it's done or what to do to it.

    Love what Tammy (comment above) said about not knowing what you can't do. What a great point. Something I should take to heart.

  4. I agree with both Judy and Tammy. Watercolors can be so much fun, just keep playing, you are doing great!

  5. I'm not attached to my artwork after it's finished, but I am attached to the process and I think we all get afraid of messing up. It's ok to be afraid as long as you just press on..and if you do mess it up? Just start over. I think your piece is lovely so far and it will be a success:)

  6. Your painting looks very pretty, i really like the sky. I too get attached to my paintings.

  7. Wow! I love the effect of the sky, it looks so atmospheric! What a great painting! :) I love your blog too and your story about the giraffe and the strawberry! We could ALL do with taking a bit of wisdom from the kids we once were!

  8. I think you're doing great and I admire your creativity and freedom. Every brush stroke is another growth spurt. You go, girl!

  9. Nice how open you are about your process, that means at least that you're aware of the fears and that's always the first step in beating them!
    Anyway, I recognize the little voice inside one's head:"you're going to ruin it when you move any further!!" Aaarg!
    What helps for me is, or putting it away until I'm ready to have a fresh look at it, or deliberately make contact with my intuition, my wildness (for example through dancing, taking a walk in the forest,...), that part that KNOWS what I have to do (unlike my thinking head ;-)

    I like the painting. It feels "sombre", I don't know if that was your intention, but it goes well with this fall season.

    Oh, and how did you do that nice frame around the picture?? I'm making party invitations and that's just the kind of frame I'm looking for!

    Thank for visiting my blog, it's very nice to meet you here, I'll be around!!

  10. I think it's beautiful! I am going through all of this with my writing and my art. It's so scary at times.
    Found a book called The Courage to Write. I think it's going to help and I think it applies to artists as well.

  11. Thanks so much for all of the encouragement and suggestions. I really appreciate it all!!

    Tammy, I do like what you say about breaking rules. A really freeing thought, actually.

    I am really good at starting things, but not so good at finishing them, or sustaining enthusiasm. I'm so glad to be a part of AEDM because I think it will help me to keep going. So far so good.

    The "sombre"ness of the painting surprised me, too, but I think I have been dealing with some "sombre" feelings. It's also about recognizing the beauty in the everyday. Weeds on the side of the road after sunset. Not necessarily something that would generally capture your attention as beautiful, even if it is.

    As for the frame around the photo, that was thanks to the Hipstamatic iPhone app. I was given a hand-me-down, out of service iPhone and wasn't really thrilled about it until I started playing with the Hipstamatic app. I'm sure there are other programs out there that can create similar effects, but I don't know what they are.

    I'll have to look for The Courage to Write. One of my favorite writing books is Bird By Bird. If you haven't read it I'd highly recommend it.

    Thanks, again, everyone!

  12. Oh, honey! You know what you are doing. This is lovely! Good for you to process through the fear that we all face with each project, no matter what it is. Brava.

  13. I'm with you, Anne -- I feel like I really don't know what I'm doing in my art. But as we bumble along, we learn lots, don't we?!?! And I think you're doing an awesome job!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

  14. I love, love it! Plus I think you have more blog followers than I have friends. That's awesome too : )


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