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.
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
We are so fortunate to live in an area where we are surrounded by a gazillion lakes. And though we have long winters, when summer rolls in we are more than rewarded with sunny days, clear skies and fresh clean northern air! And with all these lakes, you can bet we are all over them…fishing, swimming, canoeing, waterskiing, jet skiing, and my favourite: kayaking. The Kayaker 12″ x 16″ Cost: $225 Kayaking is a great way to get around on the lakes. They’re lightweight and convenient for a single person to transport. My sister and I are out quite a bit on Lake Lauzon with our kayaks, which is what inspired me to paint this...read more
The sun was setting over the dock and cast a warm orange glow over everything.24″ x 48″ – SOLD We’ve spent countless evenings sitting on the dock at my brother and sister- in-law’s cottage on Dunlop Lake watching the sun go down. These summer nights seem so endless. But here in northern Ontario, our summers are short and we’ve come to appreciate these warm evenings long after they have...read more
There are a ton of beautiful wildflowers growing around the cottage, and in the mix are some hardy ones we have transplanted over the years from our home gardens. These spectacular irises and daylilies are among them. Purple IrisesIrises and dayliliesYelLow dayliliesEach acrylic painting in this triptych is 6″ x 6″ and comes framed in a black shadow box. Cost: $300 for the set 6″ x 6″ framed acrylic painting set This trio will cheer up any wall in your home or cottage. I love the yellow and purple/blue combination! Each of these sweet little paintings come framed in a black shadow box which gives a nice finished...read more
Having cute grandkids gives you endless inspiration for cute paintings. And I am that lucky grandmother. The Boys – Acrylic Painting 12 x 16 My first-born son had white-blond hair that he inherited from his Norwegian father. It has now darkened with age as he just hit the 40-year mark. He may even have the odd grey hair, I might add! To honour the occasion, I decided to paint a picture of his adorable, and rambunctious two boys. The boys also inherited the white-blond hair and handsome Scandinavian features. There is such an innocence and curiosity about all things when they are young. They are older now. I think they were 2 and 3 years old in this painting—super-inquisitive and active as little boys tend to be at that age. As I painted this, I often reflected on the time, many years ago when my own boys were young and I painted a watercolour of them. Busy little gardeners They grow up and become the people they are meant to be. Who knew that day many years ago when they were just playing in the dirt that they would both become fathers themselves. Watching them in their roles as fathers to their kids today is a big source of pride for my husband and me. My son and his family live on the other side of the world, which means I will have to ship the painting. Unfortunately, Covid-19 travel restrictions have put an end to the hopes of a reunion any time soon. Artists these days often ship paintings internationally. With proper cardboard and bubble wrap packaging, this is not a...read more