Feeding That Loud Creative Muse
Finding freedom from fears and growing

Feeding that loud creative muse

For the last few years I've had a turning feeling in my stomach about painting. It's been a desire that has brought up a bag full of insecurities and made me feel that I might miss out on something really big in life.

I've been scared that I would be crap at painting. Then I started to realise that I was comparing myself to the great masters of painting and of course I wouldn't be as good as them! But this was all because I was going to exhibitions and being amazed by their work and somehow the idea, had got into my head that I should be able to paint like that, it had transmuted from a desire to paint to expecting myself to be of their standard.

Well of course that sort of expectation would have me feeling daunted and overwhelmed by the idea, I had no chance of starting to paint at such a level, that takes years and years of hard work and natural talent.

Once I accepted that I started drawing again and started having some pleasing results along with some plain flat and dull results. While I wasn't delighted by the flops I wasn't particularly concerned by them either as I know that you have your good days and bad days when creating, if nothing else a dozen plus years jewellery making has taught me that!

So when I got talking with a talented watercolour artist, Mel Hills of Wild Art, whose work I love about my feelings for painting I was trusting her a great deal by revealing something so deeply important for myself.

My insecurities were met with Mel's generous heart and enthusiasm. I felt so much relief I felt like exploding and collapsing at the same time. We talked painting, favourite art books, techniques and ideas for hours over dinner and chocolates and a suffocating block within me was being released.

I came home to Sydney refreshed and inspired. I went and bought a starter pack of water colour paints and took heed of Mel's advice to simply play with the paint.

Starting with some cheap and cheerful paint brushes I tested out colours, explored the shapes of brushes and the lines they make, tried my first washes and didn't worry about how any of it looked, I just played with colour.

It isn't about being a master of painting, it is about playing and loving it. I need my porcelain jewellery to be of a standard to sell, not my paintings, not yet at least.

That takes a load of pressure off me. I don't sell my photos or quilts that I make, I love creating them but I don't need to sell them. I enjoy taking photos for She Inspires and the connected social media channels but I've been taking photos for 20 years, I'm good with composition and light - you have to be when you start with film!

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So stepping back and giving myself the same freedom with painting as I do with my other creative passions is liberating.

Mel also makes her living from her creative skills, her painting as I do with my jewellery making and writing, and she made a very interesting comment to me about being able to do this. Mel said that I already know how to make a living from my art, that I already have an online presence and all those skills around that, that this next step is a natural progression.

Coming from a lady who is also making her living from her art this recognition of what I was already doing was powerfully strong for me.

Driving back from Melbourne to Sydney from the Tasmanian ferry I had time to think on what Mel had said. I realised that there had been something inside me about wanting to make a living from my painting as well. I knew already that I wanted my drawings to be on my porcelain jewellery and was working on that but I hadn't made the connection about painting and income.

It can take us such a long time to see for ourselves what is blindingly obvious to others!

I've transferred skills across areas so often in my working life, we all have but so often we just don't see how simply we have achieved this. Nor how easily we can do it for something we are really passionate about.

It will be quite some time before my paintings will be at a standard for me to sell but it will be very soon that my drawings will be appearing on my porcelain pendants and brooches and I think that is a great first step.

As for my painting, I have a great little collection of paints to start with, a small handful of quality brushes, including some from my grandmother and a series of water colour exercises from Mel to work through, again and again!

Best yet, that awful, yucky, tummy turning feeling has gone.


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