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.
Oh, Buoy! 18 x 24 acrylic painting Seeing these bright-colored buoys on the water makes me smile! They make me long for endless warm lazy summer days on the water… days that seem too far off on yet another gray spring day in Northern Ontario. The ice is still melting. The lakes will warm up. It all takes time. Boaters, cottagers, fishermen, and just about anyone who spends time on or near the water are familiar with these buoys. These buoys serve an important purpose though. Anchored to something under the water they are a marker, connected to a waterline perhaps, a mooring site, or a danger point to be avoided. For me, they are a beacon of warmer weather to come, and oh, boy, I’ll be...read more
I am a Rock – 2, 12′ x 12″ acrylic painting on gallery-wrapped canvas by Cornelia Svela I get cold just looking at this picture! I’m looking forward to painting the next one in the series which will be set in summer! This is the second painting in a series featuring the rock off of the Spruce Beach in my hometown of Elliot Lake. Usually, the lake is frozen solid, and ski doos are whipping across the lake, as well as cross-country skiers and ice fishermen. Not this year. 2024 marks the first year in many where the winter has been unusually...read more
“Rock Me, Baby” 24 x 24 acrylic painting on gallery canvas by Cornelia Svela The sound of the waves hitting the shore so softly and gently could just rock you to sleep... This painting conjures up a lot of good feelings! It’s inspired by a photo I took on the evening of our arrival at a cute bunkie we were staying at on Manitoulin Island. I had booked it to celebrate my birthday with a romantic getaway with my husband. It was all that and more! A HUGE thunderstorm rolled in later that night!!! It felt like the bunkie was going to rip apart. The rain and high winds pounded us all night long. We were sleeping in a loft and the tree branches knocked on the roof giving us little sleep. The rain and fog continued into the next day, so we didn’t see as much of the island as we would have wanted. I’m excited to announce that this painting is destined for my first solo art exhibition to be held at TVM Gallery in Blind River, Ontario. My show titled: “Roots, Rocks, and Reflections”, will run from May 15 to Canada Day, 2024, so mark your calendars, friends! I’d love to hear from you if you visit the gallery and view my artwork on...read more
I Am A Rock – 12″ x 12″ Acrylic Painting – $300 “I am a rock, I am an island” – Simon & Garfunkel The Elliot Lake rock off of Spruce Beach in my hometown of Elliot Lake, Ontario, has become an icon for the city. Anyone who has grown up in this mining town will know it well since Spruce Beach was one of the major hangouts on a hot summer’s day. I still make a point of swimming out to the rock every summer. An achievement I continue to be proud to check off! The rock is beyond the area patrolled by the lifeguards so there are warnings that to swim there—you do so at your own risk! Since the famous rock has been photographed, painted, and graphically stylized countless times, it was not a priority of mine until I was approached by a fellow Elliot Laker to take that on. They were looking for something different! I’m very happy with the result! This particular painting is a fall image. There will be 4 more paintings added to this series… winter, summer, and spring, plus a wide landscape image including the beach itself in the foreground. So stay tuned! This is only the beginning! There are several options if you are interested in purchasing: 1.) The original canvas is available for purchase (12″ x 12″) 2.) It is also available as a framed print under glass with a 3″ white mat board and a black wood frame – finished size 19″ x 19″, 3.) A mounted canvas reproduction (12″ x 12″), with or without a recessed wood black frame (13″ x 13″). Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re...read more
Land Ho! | 18 x 24 acrylic painting Some of you may recognize this spot on Dunlop Lake, just north of Elliot Lake. My kayak is pointed in the direction of a gorgeous island that happens to be a designated provincial government campsite. You can pitch a tent and spend the night camping under the stars! I never have… yet. This is another painting in a series I’m producing now for the Elliot Lake Arts on the Trail 2023, this September 30. I’ve wanted to display my artwork here since I moved back to my hometown of Elliot Lake, and this year it will finally...read more
Peaceful Bay | 12 x 24 acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas An ideal escape for me on any given day is to be out on a lake in my kayak. We are lucky to have a ton of bays just like this one on any of the hundreds of lakes that surround us here in Northern Ontario. Throw in a beaver dam, a cluster of water lilies, a turtle sitting on a rock, or a rotting tree trunk plus some grasses swaying in the wind and you’ve got yourself a peaceful bay just like this one to drift into. And here you can just take a deep breath and float for a while. As for the painting… there’s a lot of contrast going on here. I had a lot of fun with the strong colors and the looser brushstrokes toward the bottom of the...read more
The Breakwater | 30′ x 60″ acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas You might look at this painting and think…it’s just a piles of rocks! But this pile of rocks was intentionally placed in this location to serve as a breakwater on Lake Huron, one of our amazing “Great Lakes” in Ontario. Everyone needs some type of breakwater as we go through our lives. That wall of strength that we resort to during times of rough waters. The wall of strength that holds back the rough waters with the strong winds and waves that keep bashing in, and provide that calm protected space where we can find shelter. It’s the largest painting I’ve completed to date! It seemed a little daunting to begin with but once I got the bigger brushes out it seemed to paint itself. A lesson to myself…don’t let “size” get in the...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