Five Steps in overcoming your fears of succeeding as an artist
It’s hard to move forward as an artist when you have that negative voice in your head telling you your not good enough to succeed and you think that everyone else’s work is better than yours. You have to move past that negative self talk. Here’s how:
Look at the positive
Your work stands as a testament to your hard work and dedication. You went through a process of thought to create your artwork and its completion and your satisfaction of the end result is what is important. Look at what you have achieved. Be grateful for reaching your goal.
Analyze your thoughts
There are many different interpretations of a subject. You might feel that someone else’s execution of a theme or topic is better than yours. Ask yourself, why? What is it you like about that other artist’s work. Learn from that and apply it to your next painting. Someone else may easily prefer yours. It really is a matter of personal taste and opinion.
With each painting that you complete, you gain a better understanding of your technique and your interpretation of the subject and what you hope to achieve with that piece. If you aren’t happy with the piece, start over, change it, make it better. Walk away from it for a while, however long it takes. I once left a painting for 3 years and then picked up my brush and finished it. It takes discipline but what a wonderful feeling of pride and accomplishment you get when you finish it and are happy with the result!
Believe in yourself – We tend to be our own worst critic. It can be a good thing when it spurs you on to do better, but excessive self-criticism can work against you. Turn that voice into a positive and encouraging one. You have to believe in your self and what you are capable of. Ask yourself why you are painting, what do you hope to achieve?
There are a million ways to draw a flower, or anything. No right or wrong. Your interpretation is yours and unique and interesting for that reason. That is what makes creativity so special. It’s personal. It’s your expression.
2023 Calendars!12 months of images to enjoy!The 2023 calendars are here! I have to admit that the hardest part of putting together this calendar was deciding which painting images to include! I tried to show local scenes throughout the year that many friends and family will recognize and enjoy. In several cases, I wasn’t able to display the entire original painting aiming instead to bring out a good section. I hesitated for a while. Many of us use our calendars on our devices….phones, tablets, and computers. Are paper hanging calendars still wanted? Personally, I still like to have a calendar that I can write on, hang, and flip through whenever I want to see the days, months, and entire year at a glance. Plus the images make it so much more pleasing! The reception has been wonderful and encouraging! I’ve sold out of my first 20, and have ordered a second batch. The cost is $20 + $3 mailing for a single calendar. The mailing for 2 calendars goes up to $5. If you’re interested in ordering let me know at...read more
I started this painting about a year ago. It was a strong and promising start and I felt really confident that it wouldn’t take me long to finish it. It was, however, a side piece. And it sat and sat. Hope Blooms 12×12 Acrylic on canvas SOLD What is a side piece, you ask? A side piece for an artist is one that you work on before and in between others, to loosen up and add some fluidity to your work process. I always feel a little freer with colors and techniques afterward. There were times, I have to admit when I doubted myself. Would I ever actually finish it? Well, I did and I really felt passionate about it. You see, the days lately have been long, cloudy and gray and the wintery cold weather has a way of hanging on extra long here in Northern Ontario. After a period of particularly gray and also emotionally heavy days, I knew I needed to throw myself into this painting to take my mind in a different direction. Our world and all the people in it have been suffering under the weight of Covid 19. So many of us have been isolated looking for safety in our own home sanctuaries. It has left some of us detached from each other and sometimes, even ourselves. Add to this, the stresses of families physically apart, yet trying to reach out to support each other, and sometimes it is more than we can bear. The colors in this painting swirled around the canvas and really excited me and lifted my spirits! Black-eyed Susans have always been a favorite late summer flower of my husband and I’ve grown to really appreciate them too. Painting these flowers made a difference in how I felt that day and now going forward. Hope really does bloom...read more
Have you ever wanted to just jump into a painting? Well, this is one that I could literally jump into. It is the quintessential Northern Ontario scene along the shore of any lake. I can almost smell the dried pine needles on the ground—that wonderful earthy smell combined with the fresh breeze off of the lake. The sun makes its way through the trees and creates long afternoon shadows reaching out as though to grab your attention. By the Lake’s Shore 18 x24 acrylic on canvas I left this painting sitting unfinished on my easel while my attention was diverted with a journey away to a warmer climate. A family member that was minding our house and cat while we were away, was captured by it and claimed it on the...read more
This painting was created as an addition to a series of angel paintings that I painted in 2019 as my contribution to the Elliot Lake Art Gallery’s “Angels Among Us” theme which celebrated the holiday season. 11 x 14 acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas$125.00 It weighed very heavy on my heart but I needed to release my emotions. This native angel stands in recognition of truth and reconciliation and honors the lives of the lost children and the survivors of Canada’s residential schools. The angel brings us strength to deal with this truth, love for healing, and hope for a better future. The moon casts its glow on us as our protector and watches over us. The falling feathers were inspired by the lyrics from Neil Young’s song: “Birds”. “…feathers fall around you, and show you the way to go home…” Prints of this painting are also available for purchase. They are 8″ x 10″ set in an 11 x 14 mat with cardboard backing, ready for framing. Notecards 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ with white envelopes are $5 each of 3 for $12. Shipping costs are...read more
Driving on this road north holds many good memories. 12″ x 36″ acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas – SOLD Anyone who lives or who has lived in Elliot Lake, Ontario at any time is very familiar with Highway 108, the 30 km stretch of highway that leads into the town from the Highway 17 turnoff. But not everyone has driven it to its’ most northern tip beyond the city where the highway ends and merges into Highway 639. At this point, you can still see part of the old road that turned off to right towards Quirke Mine, which no longer exists. Comments from a Facebook post featuring the painting: “I seen this painting and in my heart I knew it was E.L you’ve got the big whispy white pines perfectly (I live in AB now but grew up in Elliot Lake. I knew right away it was the 108!).”, and “Absolutely stunning! I am familiar with that area. My brother worked in the mines. Really captured well.” You would travel on Highway 639 on your way to Mississagi Provincial Park, or Laurentian Lodge, a beautiful log home with rental cottages on Flack Lake, or up to meet Highway 546 on your way east to Wilderness Lodge, or west to follow the Little White River, all the way around to Iron Bridge which brings you back to Highway 17! We still call this route along the river, “The Little White River Road”. If you were a miner you would regularly travel along this highway back and forth at all hours on your shifts to Denison, Quirke 1 & 2, Panel, or Stanrock Mines. This stretch of highway still holds on to many of its characteristics of earlier days like the old guard rails. The asphalt gives way to a more compressed gravel and it’s seems to get narrower the further you go. We’ve driven this road many a time, often in the spring and most definitely in the fall. The views and the vistas from the high elevations are absolutely breathtaking! There is bush as far as the eye can see, and the colours in the northern fall forest are stunning! Mother Nature is an awesome artist! After a long winter, Elliot Lakers often get a yearning to go somewhere! When they aren’t in the mood for a highway drive east or west to the larger cities, they will often drive the road north. The breathtaking beauty of the scenic nature here has a way of rejuvenating...read more
Last summer, I was approached by a relative who asked me to paint a picture to hang over their couch in their new home. Sure, I agreed, though at that time I had no idea what and when I would ever paint it. One benefit of all this homestay during this Covid-19 lockdown has been my ability to focus on painting. Painting grabs my attention completely and the time that passes is of no concern. It is a wonderful and rewarding escape from reality! Morning Calm on Dunlop Lake – 48″ x 32″ acrylic on canvas – Commissioned We’ve spent many good times together at the cottage that sits behind this view on Dunlop Lake. On this particular morning, the lake was quite calm and left you with a feeling of peace and serenity. What a perfect image to hang in the home in the city many miles and worlds away from this scene. I hope it brings them a sense of calmness, and memories of all the wonderful times spent there for many years to...read more
We often go walking or snowshoeing on the hiking trails that surround the Sheriff Creek Wildlife Sanctuary just on the outskirts of Elliot Lake. The trails and the scenery are beautiful no matter the season. Cattails and Beaver Dams 20″ x 24″ acrylic painting – SOLD Cattails are a pretty common sight in this area. These cattails border a large bog that is also home to a beaver dam or two. If bird-watching is your thing this is the place for you, as a local group of volunteers: the Penokean Hills Field Naturalists, have birdhouses and feeders erected on many of the trees. I captured a hungry little chickadee enjoying a mid-winter treat in my painting titled “Chickadee Snacktime”. Bears have been spotted on the trails too, so...read more
This painting combines some things that I’m pretty fond of…. summertime, sunsets and sunrises, being out on the lake canoeing or kayaking, and my son! Evening Paddle, 18 x 24 acrylic on canvas The inspiration for this painting came from a photo taken when my son was on a camping trip to Algonquin Provincial Park with some of his buddies several years ago. The sunset ranks among the most colourful I’ve ever seen. It seems like the sky was on...read more
A nice aspect of living here in Northern Ontario, particularly Elliot Lake, is the abundance of nature trails. If you like getting out for regular walks in the bush, you’ve got it made here. There are extensive trails throughout the area that would appeal both to the novice and the more experienced hiker. One such trail and a very popular one year-round is the trail system surrounding the Sheriff Creek Wildlife Sanctuary. Here you’ll find an easy walking trail through the bush, field, over boardwalks, and along a lake. There are many bird feeders and feeding stations that cater to the local birds such as this little chickadee caught chipping away at some sap on a birch tree stump. Chickadee Snacktime 12 x 16 acrylic – $225 White birch and cedar trees are found all over our forests, so this would be a very familiar sight. Chickadees can be found year-round here. Like us, they brave the winter’s cold. I haven’t painted many birds but really enjoyed painting this little...read more
Summers on the lake are not complete without the thousands of water lilies blooming in shallow waters. When we were young, my siblings and I would paddle to the end of the bay of our cottage, and pick armloads of waterlilies! Nowadays we know they won’t last very long and pick only one to admire in a glass bowl on the table. Water Lilly – 11″ x 14″ Cost:...read more