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.
The theme for this year’s Christmas show & sale for The Gallery at the Centre in Elliot Lake is “Angels Among Us”. Woodland Angel 14″ x 18″ acrylic painting While I liked the theme when it was presented, for the longest time, I really didn’t know what I might create for this theme. A crafty type person would make Christmas tree ornaments out of paper, wood or metal. I had some ideas but they all required a lot of supplies that I didn’t have. Plus I wasn’t all that enthused about any of them. I really don’t glue, or sew a lot. I don’t even own a glue gun. The sure indicator of “the crafty type”. Yet, the theme inspired me. Angels. How beautiful. Like most artists would do, I Googled and I checked Pinterest to see what was out there with the angels theme. What were other artists doing? Amongst the more religious ancient paintings of the renaissance period and earlier, there were some really nice contemporary takes on the angels theme. I knew that I had to stick with the art medium that I felt most comfortable with at the moment. After my first Woodland Angel painting, the other 2 angel paintings seemed to come together easily. Angel of Music 10 x 10...read more
This painting was inspired by the view from the balcony where I stood in the spring of 2018 when we visited Estepona, Spain. We arrived late the evening prior. After organizing the essentials and changing into fresh clothes we headed out to the nearby streets in search of a place to eat. This proved easy since most eateries open late for dinner in Spain. It was the eve of the May 1 holiday weekend, and the streets were full of bustling crowds of people of all ages—a mix of tourists and nationals. How exciting it all was! The next morning, I ran to the top of the apartment and looked out from the terrace to look upon this scene. “You can see the Rock of Gibraltar on a clear day”, we were told. And there it was in the distance. The sun had not yet made its way over the square below, just kissing some of the roof tops. And just beyond I could see the ocean, the sand and the palm trees. Good morning, Estepona! We have arrived. I was intrigued by the perspective of the buildings from where I stood. So many angles, but all pointing to the sunlit ocean and palm tree in the distance. The colours and shadows were interesting too. I played around with the oranges, creamy whites, and purple hues, changing them until I was satisfied with the end...read more
Autumn is a beautiful season most anywhere in the world. Cosy sweater weather, warm drinks by the fire, and awesome coloured leaves…what’s not to like? I may be a bit biased but here in Northern Ontario, the fall colours in the bush go absolutely crazy with crimson reds merging with the brightest yellows producing shades of orange against the grey rocks. What a show! Autumn Symphony 30″ x 40″ Acrylic A friend of mine left a message on my Facebook page one day: “Cornelia, I need one of your paintings!” So naturally, I called him and checked out his office space which had the most brightly painted walls I’ve ever seen. Marigold, bright yellows, reds and oranges! These guys really like fall colours. The challenge was to paint a colourful fall scene that would compliment the colours and not get lost or overpower. Well, I have to admit, the painting looked perfect on a bright yellow wall. I named this painting Autumn Symphony because it almost seems like the birch tree with its branches was standing like a conductor orchestrating this most magnificent symphony. If you’ve never been to Northern Ontario in the fall, you really should add it to your list of places to...read more
Life is always better at the beach. – anonymous We made our way by canoe to Sandy Point on Elliot Lake. Actually, we were on our way to a wonderful sandy beach across the lake that I remember going to with my family when I was a kid. Well, I later found out that we overshot it by quite a piece. But ending up at this lovely spot was pretty nice too. There was a fire pit, so we made a fire and roasted some hot dogs and marshmallows and had a nice break there. Nothing soothes the soul more than a walk along a sandy beach. Cost:...read more
14 x 18 Acrylic Summertime is berry picking time in Northern Ontario. Blackberries, chokecherries, raspberries, wild strawberries, and blueberries grow freely behind our cottage on Lake Lauzon. But most often it was the wild blueberries my mother was after. She would enlist our entire family to spend a good part of a day high up on the rocks surrounding the lake. As kids, we would think it was fun for a little while, then start eating them, and finally drop the whole thing altogether and start playing. My mother wouldn’t be satisfied until we had filled a couple of gallon pails with blueberries. And this would take hours. It’s a good thing my father was a patient man and picked faithfully. She would then freeze many that would later be enjoyed as jams and pies. But a lot of them would be eaten fresh with a little sugar and maybe some milk or cream poured over. Delicious! To this day blueberry pie is my absolute favorite. The blackberries were plentiful as well, though harder to pick due to the thorny bushes and the wasps that joined in. They were also not as sweet, but they made a lovely jam and jelly. I painted this during the month of March when the ground was still very frozen and covered with a crusty blanket of snow. Painting these lovely green leaves and popping ripe berries sure got me dreaming about the summer. It became a detailed study of this tangly bush I hope to visit again someday soon. cost:...read more
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass 12” x 24” acrylic on canvas I love nothing better than walking along a trail in the woods after a fresh snowfall. I love the way the snow covers everything like a soft blanket, leaving nothing uncovered. Only Mother Nature can be so meticulous and thorough. I love the way the snow crunches underfoot on an extremely cold crisp winter day. This is the winter of my youth, the northern Ontario winter. Come March though, I know I’ll be longing for spring!...read more
Last October, we were blessed with some beautiful sunny days and we didn’t hesitate to take advantage of them including some family hiking, canoeing and walks down to the lake. This was our first fall in Elliot Lake, a time I had eagerly looked forward to. It had been at least 40 years since I had experienced a northern autumn and I looked forward to the brilliant reds that we didn’t see as much in Southern Ontario. Many Elliot Lakers were disappointed in the lack of intensity and brilliance of the fall colors this year. It was blamed on the long and rainy summer and the warm fall weather that didn’t include the usual amount of frosty mornings and cool overnight temperatures. Despite that, the fall was a wonderful time, and we can’t be happier in our new home in Elliot Lake. I’ve been happily rediscovering this lovely city and the natural beauty that surrounds it. I think growing up here, I took so much of its beauty for granted. I plan to continue exploring all the area has to offer. I’m excited too, to be showing this painting and offering it for sale in the Elliot Lake Arts Club Annual Christmas Show & Sale, along with my blank note cards. It’s just the beginning. Stay tuned for more!...read more
“Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life”- Pablo Picasso I’m taking a break from packing chaos and a home that has become a sea of boxes to share my most recent painting of some kayakers on Lake Huron which I’ve titled: “Wait For Me!” The inspiration came from a photo a friend had shared a couple of years ago and I knew immediately when I saw it, that I would paint it one day. My thought was to paint it as a tribute to Canada in celebration of this great country’s 150th. It holds so much more meaning now, being so consumed with the anticipation and preparation of our upcoming move up north. Dreams of being near the lake—kayaking, swimming, painting, and fishing. Memories of a childhood growing up in beautiful Elliot Lake come flooding back. I can really say “I’m going home”....read more
There is a really cute, smart, funny, adorable little girl and her name is Klara. I am so lucky to be her grandmother. Klara is really lucky too because she has 2 awesome parents who love to travel. So Klara has visited more countries in her 3 young years than many adults have in their entire lives. In this painting, she is standing in a weathered old wooden boat along the shore of a beach in Greece. She was only 2 at the time, though I’ve captured an older Klara in my painting. She has the brightest smile and eyes that twinkle and light up the world. I must confess that I painted her face at least 8 times before I was satisfied that it was Klara. There were times when I considered giving up. But a dedicated artist does not give up. Portraits are a true test for an artist. You have to capture what you see, so there is an amazing amount of concentration. And the ultimate thrill when you’re...read more
Black-eyed Susans are particularly striking in late summer when so many other flowering plants have gone to seed. They have held a special place in the gardens of each home we have lived in, and have become a favorite flower of my husband. These beauties were transplanted from our former home’s flower bed, and some might argue that they are a weed. We were really pleased how well they have taken to their new spot. Easy to grow, and easy to enjoy! 12 x 12 Acrylic Painting these flowers just made me happy, and I hope they bring a smile to others as...read more