trying new things and facing fears... painting

I have wanted to paint for a long time.  Ages ago I asked a painter friend if we could get together and paint.  She hadn't done any painting herself for a long time and I hadn't ever painted and wanted a little help getting started.  Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, our painting get togethers never materialized.  She did give me some advice and suggestions to get started, though.  I bought some supplies (and pilfered some from Matthias), but I never did start on my own.  That was at least 3 years ago. 

Fast forward to this past November.  I signed up for Art Every Day Month and was motivated to do some watercolors.  That was such an encouraging and kind atmosphere and I had a lot of fun and learned a lot just by experimenting.  What I really wanted to do, too, was start painting with acrylics, but, again, I never got around to it.  I know that the big reason behind my putting off painting was fear.  Painting is really scary.  I know that might sound lame, but it is.  A blank canvas holds so much promise, but there's a lot of pressure there, too.  I knew from painting with watercolors that I would sometimes be so tense and nervous while painting, holding my breath as I concentrated on not "messing up."  And then I'd let the process and enjoyment take over.  Getting past that fear was so hard. 

The other day I mentioned that I'd signed up for an online painting class.  Last week the class started.  I was excited and a bit scared.  And then amazed when the first assignment was to make a quilt-like painting!  What a great transition from my fabric art to the art of painting.  One of the main points of the class is just to paint.  And that's just what I need.  A little extra motivation as well as encouragement.  I've learned a lot so far, too, both from the process of painting and from the class material as well.  For the first week's assignment I was on roll and painted three paintings.

The first one was made up of simple squares. 

It was a lot of fun to do.  I wanted to do something more with it, so I let it sit.  Each day it got harder to consider going back and tinkering with it.  In the meantime I started another painting.  This one with circles.

I did go back to this one.

I really like how it turned out. 

Finally, before bed one night I had a painting idea pop into my head.  Kind of a silly idea, actually.  It was to paint black stripes on a white canvas.  Well, that turned out to be harder than I'd thought it would be and so I played with black and white paint and a little bit of blue.

I love mixing colors and barely mixing colors and watching the paint interact on the canvas.   These were not at all my favorite colors and I thought the end result was a rather boring painting.  I went back to it a day or two later and added some colors.

Not sure that I like it, but I learned a lot while painting it and it was so much fun playing with those colors.

It was a good first week and I'm glad I just kept painting and didn't give in to discouragement (even when I did feel a bit discouraged along the way).  Mati and Lisa are really good teachers and are so encouraging.  I'd liked their art before starting the class (Mati's newsletter is the reason I even knew about it), so I was excited to have them as teachers.  They're even better than I had hoped.  The other students are all so supportive and encouraging, too.  And really talented.  It's a bit intimidating, but also a good push to have so many other great artists in the class.


  1. I really like what you've created here. I always learn the most from experimenting and having fun with the paint. And letting the paint teach me.

  2. I really like the circles painting. I like the way that I can see movement in the circles. The more you paint the more you will learn. Confidence will come with practice. An open mind is all you need!!!

  3. Cool playing! :)
    What size is the last one? The scrapbooker in me fantasized of adding rub ons, buttons and flowers to the rectangles. :D

  4. I am so happy for you that you pushed past the fear, signed up for this class, enjoyed it AND created some beautiful paintings. I imagined those black & white stripes (before colours added) were a forest in the dim light; dense tall pines or similar. It inspired stories in my head.

    Sounds like you & I are both pushing past some fears & doubts with painting and enjoying the experience. Thanks for your support.
    Kat X

  5. Good for you for stepping out of your your paintings...I am just starting it as well..I love mixed media..started taking some online classes and love it..enjoy this new adventure..

  6. Good for you Anne! You are off to a great start!! Isn't painting awesome!!!

  7. Permission to link your blog to mine?

  8. Thanks for all the encouragement!

    madMad, definitely, and thank you.


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