Friday, April 10, 2015

"Do one thing every day that scares you." -Eleanor Roosevelt

I'm going to be completely honest and share something personal here. Do you ever struggle with negative self talk? I do sometimes and I have been working to improve that. Today was a great example.

"Grandaddy Parker's Barn" -Amy Crews © 2006

Barns. I used to paint them quite often. In fact, I used to pride myself on having a new barn each year at the local art show. And then my nests and florals took off and, in order to present a more cohesive exhibit of my work, I steered away from landscapes.

I always have my camera in the car and as a result I have a collection of photos of landscapes that have inspired me.  Having focused on "still life" for so long, it can be a bit intimidating to paint landscapes again. So I've been putting it off.

A photo from my car window. I loved the light on this tree!

One day I mentioned to an artist friend that I may paint a barn. Her response was "But you don't do landscapes." I was taken aback but realized she had not known me back in my barn days. And it's true, I have not done many landscapes since knowing her. She didn't mean any harm at all. She's one of the sweetest people I know! I bet she had no idea how those words would stay with me. Just in case she reads this, let me put this disclaimer's not you. It's me. I promise.

Another friend shared a photo that I fell in love immediately so asked her if I could paint it. A landscape though. A gorgeous serene and dreamy place! I put it off because I kept hearing a voice in my head say "But you don't do landscapes". Today I did though. One step at a time.

Sure, I'm a little rusty and may not be as fast as I am with other things I paint. But it was fun! I just looked at it as time well spent out of my comfort zone. I need to do more landscapes and I look forward to looking through the photos collected. With each one I do, I'll get more confident and more efficient I'm sure. How about you? Is there anything holding you back? Anything you've been wanting to do but have avoided?

Here it is! I'm happy with it. I'll probably tweak it some more tomorrow.