Studies and Inspiration.

Since moving to Seattle from Australia over a year ago now I have had plans to really make a point of focusing on artwork.  I tend to hide behind all of the other fun stuff I am interested in like sewing and knitting and use it as a way to avoid facing my fear of not being good enough or a capable artist.  After all this stuff while cute and fun does not delve too deeply into anything personal or scary for me. Creating artwork on the other hand is terrifying.

All of my life I have lived under a shadow of self doubt and anxiety.  Especially when it comes to my own artistic ability.  I cannot tell you how many times I had told myself I was going to quit university.  It was not that I was not getting good grades, I was, it was the constant sickness in the pitt of my stomach having to talk about my work and have other people critique it.  Every second of that course was painful for me.  Having to be home in time to work nights made a  convenient excuse to get out of there everyday as soon as I could.  If it had not been for the 80% attendance required I would have been a ghost.

Long story short I scraped through with pretty good marks and came out alive.  But then I spent 10 years hiding from it and working retail, raising kids and following my husband around the world.  But now here I am.  At the cross roads wanting to make this the “the thing”  that I do.  I’m going to start back at square one.  Choose a medium, which now seems likely to be oil paints, and develop a style and skill set.  I’m going to use this time to focus on my own abilities and nurture myself.  I’m going to stop wrapping this thing up in a tangled mess of knotted yarn in my head.  Knots of reasons why I cannot do this.  Why I am lacking some profound message or muse and just work on skills and build myself up.  Screw it.  This is what I am supposed to do.  I’m getting to old to keep playing this game.

So here is a look at my first study in oil paint so far.  A simple still life, that I can do at home, with the kids interrupting me and a million distractions. And take not of my awesome ingenuity in action here with my makeshift desktop easel.


Makeshift desktop easel from a cutlery box, picture frame and chop sticks.


The still life.


The canvas.


The underpainting.


In progress.


I am loving the way the paint can be moved around.  I had previously only used acrylic and watercolour paint.  But this seems well suited to the way I like to work.  The paints can be blended into each other smoothly so they don’t look so separate and detached.  My only gripe so far is that I am forced to reign in my impatience and wait for it to dry for now as I have worked into the wet as much as I think I can at this point.  So I am starting a side project to keep up momentum.  Wish me luck.



A message to myself.



Use your journal.  It DOES NOT have to look great.  Not everything you do has to be a work of art.  Record ideas, plan and learn.  Face the things that scare you and improve your skills by doing.  Don’t sit around thinking about it.  Do it.  If it does not work out how you plan you are still a step closer then you were and have lost nothing but time that you would have waisted in avoidance anyway.

This is the time to make it happen or just give up and admit you were never cut out for it.  You have so much to draw on.  There are people who would kill for your life.  Make the most of this time.  Create, grow and find yourself.  You know you are in there somewhere.  Be what other people know you could be.