Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday: Birds and Fearless Painting

My newest journal page, sketches of a few common birds in my yard. The right side has been colored, while the left is still waiting on that.

More often than not these days, I find myself looking at my brushes and paints and sighing. When I crack open my journal or a stark piece of crisp new paper, I freeze up and feel uninspired. Do I think this is just burn out? Possibly, but it doesn't really feel like it. It's a stifling sort of feeling where my brain goes 'what to draw... what to draw...' and coming up with nothing at all that tickles its fancy, shuts off.

Somewhere over the course of the past ten years, I became a perfectionist when it comes to my artwork. Doodling? I don't do that. If it isn't something that I can envision clearly finished in my head, I have a hard time even starting. The process of creating has gotten sort of lost and I focus a lot more on the finished product. You'll find it not only in the lack of sketches in my 'sketchbook' but also in the pages of my art journal. These days it's not a haven for experimentation and randomness, it's become a sort of scrapbook or a pictoral phone conversation; if I don't have something of interest to report I don't bother.

I've become uptight about creating, I treat it almost like a chore that I need to make time to do. Sometimes, and this pains me to say, I feel guilty for leaving the dishes or the laundry to go paint or work in my journal. Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, there's no outside reason for this... in fact the dude is so supportive of my art that he's constantly bugging me to go make a mess, to quit my day job and chase my dream of being a paint covered house wife. The simple fact of the matter is, I'm not very kind to myself and I have some issues to work out when it comes to how I view the way I spend time - as in, I need to realize that if it makes me happy it's worth doing. Last night I read a blog post that bitch slapped me, it was as if my 20 year old self walked into the room and knocked my head on straight. It set off the light in my brain that made me realize that not only have I been feeling guilty like some crazy person, I've also become nearly incapable of relaxing - in general, but very much so with my art.

And so, I'm going to do something about it. I signed up for:

And I'm going to share it here with all of you, with my family and friends, with my amazingly awesome husband so I have some accountability and won't chicken out - because in all honesty guys, I have a bad habit of backing out of things that scare me. And this scares the control freak in me, a lot. It scares the part of me that doesn't allow me to fully meditate, to let go and just let things happen, the blockade on my path. And I'm hoping that doing this will allow me to tear that bitch down, brick by brick and put me on the path of all around fearlessness. But even if it just starts with the art, baby steps are still steps forward.

P.S. I'm also getting my creative toes wet over at Twinkle, Twinkle with the Summer of Color 2: Ice Cream Inspirations project. You can check that out by clicking on the image in my sidebar, it's free and promises to be fun!

P.P.S. Part of this adventure is going to involve a destash of a lot of some supplies. Part of the process of letting go for me, means physically letting go of supplies I don't need/want or won't ever use. Once I go through stuff, I may have an 'internet garage sale' here on the blog. If anyone's interested in some crafty stuff for cheap, let me know. :)


  1. So you will get painting and creating and feel s00000 much better! You can do this! Good luck, baby steps are fine! Very nice birds btw, especially the robin!

  2. Yayyyy, Danni...I'm so glad you got slapped to awakening and you're going to let yourself create more. Being a fellow perfectionist I understand the dreaded hollowness you feel when you first start to create. I'm not and never will be an artist like yourself, but even blogging sets up that impatience for perfectionistic feeling. Just give room for yourself and your babies and be gentle with both.

  3. I think this new project is a great idea! Perfection is a fickle friend. What is perfect anyway? I think you'll get a lot out of this painting adventure and I can't wait to see what you do!

  4. I love this idea of Fearless Painting! It sounds like so much fun and a wonderful way to connect more to our Creative Sources. I may have to jump on board when things slow down for me too. Have fun and let your Light shine! :-)

  5. WOW, I can SO relate to this! Although I do try to get messy every week (loved your husbands comment!), I sometimes feel forced, uninspired or yes, guilty for taking the time to do it. BUT it is so important to connect with our creativity and I know that I for one am not as sweet when I neglect that side of me ;)
    SO happy to have you join The Summer of Color - I'm looking forward to seeing you get messy too! Kristin xo

  6. I can certainly relate. I have been too much of a perfectionist. My problem is that I don't have the skill for my ideas to be perfect. I found inspiration in another blog too she explores various types of painting and doesn't hesitate to show what she considers a bad painting and the steps she took to fix it. I am thankful for those people who show their art whether they think it's good or not. It inspires me. Thanks for posting and looking forward to seeing your art work.

  7. Your sketches are gorgeous. Good for you to have the ability to see where a problem exists and then take action against it. That is why you are such a remarkable person, sweet Danni. To face ourselves with honesty is to build a life of freedom. Hugs to you always. Mina

  8. Did you just hear that? It was a ROAR coming from your heart. Fuck this perfection bullshit. You inspired me with your words .... life is to short not to live it.

    Fuck me running, all the wise women are from Jersey, I KNEW IT!

  9. Wow! it was like we've been sitting up talking about what's 'getting' us in our art work. I think I was supposed to find you ;-) I love your birds. I have a feeder station outside my window. I see some of the same birds but couldn't draw them to save my life... well maybe if I'd 'let go'. hehe I look forward to following you on your Big project. I don't have room for another thing in my life right now or I'd join you. It looks FUN!
    Creative Blessings!


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