Painting by Karen Sperling from photos by her and Ken Partington
I receive a lot of emails that start out like this:
“I would start painting from photos, but…”
followed by one or more of the following or something similar:
“You only have the ebook of Painting for Photographers available, I’m waiting for the printed book.”
“I’m waiting till I retire.”
“I’m waiting till I have time off.”
“I’m waiting till the next version of Painter comes out.”
“I’m waiting till you have another DVD.”
“I’m waiting till the kids get a little older.”
“I’m waiting till you have an Artistry Retreat in my town.”
I used to be the same way. I had a million excuses about why I couldn’t get around to painting though it was something I thought about all the time.
I am not talking about real roadblocks like health issues, which I have also experienced.
I’m talking about the rationalizations we make up for why we aren’t pursuing our creative dreams.
Hey folks who are putting off painting, here’s a newsflash from someone who has experienced the same waiting condition: You’re waiting because you’re scared to try something that you may not be any good at! And guess what else? Chances are, you’re going to find out that you’re very good at it! Professional photographers, you’re going to find out you can make money at doing something (else) you love (in addition to photography)! Hobbyists, you’re going to find out that you love to paint your kids and grandkids.
You just have to take the leap. Why? Because doing something you love to do is worth it!
All the excuses I’ve listed above are just that, excuses. People who are waiting for the printed version of my Painting for Photographers book aren’t really waiting for a book. The information is the same in the ebook. In fact, they’re putting off their fear of trying something they’re not sure they can do.
People who are waiting for an Artistry Retreat in their town know they’ll never take a class with me because they know I’ll never be in their town, so they’ll never have to learn to paint their photos, but they can blame it on me. “Well, if she ever came to my town, then I’d be painting.”
As for the other excuses listed above-we all lead busy lives and there’s never any time to do anything unless you make the time, it’s as simple as that.
Sorry for the tough love, but I know what it feels like to be frustrated by wanting to do something creative that interests me and to seemingly have no chance to do it. The years go on and the chance to do the thing you love gets further and further away.
So I’m advocating just doing it! Just start painting!
You don’t believe me? You think, what if she’s wrong and I really can’t paint?
I think it’s a mindset. If you think you can paint, you probably can. If you think you can’t paint, you probably can’t. So go in thinking you can paint, and you will! And again, I’m saying all this from personal experience!
Why is it important to be creative? It’s like asking someone why they breathe. It’s because you have to. Not everyone is creative. I’m talking to you if you have thoughts that you wish you were painting but you can’t because of the excuses listed above or your own variety. Wanting to be creative and not allowing yourself to be is a constant nagging on your creative psyche. I know because I did it for years.
Here’s why I love to paint:
• Whether I’m painting in Corel Painter or with traditional oils, acrylics or watercolors, I am amazed at how much fun it is and I wonder how I held myself back from it for so many years.
• I get a feeling of accomplishment when I complete a painting.
• I’m not going to say painting is easy, but it is exciting! Even after doing it for years, I always wonder while I’m in the middle of a painting if it’s going to turn out OK. In fact, the more I work on a painting, the better it gets, and the process is as exciting and as suspenseful as watching a Hitchcock movie–you’re on an emotional roller coaster and then everything comes out all right in the end. It’s better than watching a movie-the end means you have a finished painting to show for your efforts.
• If I never showed my art to anyone, I still would love to do it because I love both the creative expression through art and I also love the mechanical skill of painting. That I do show it to others and get great feedback about it is icing on the cake.
I highly recommend confronting your fear of painting. Read the list of excuses above or recognize your own. Then ignore them and get painting.
There’s only one excuse that is valid for not painting.
“I don’t want to.”
If that one didn’t occur to you, then you do want to paint and you’re missing out on one of the most satisfying, rewarding things you could be doing.
Stop waiting and get painting!
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