Getting Color on the Canvas

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color on canvas

Writer’s block is a good example. Insomnia sorta fits the bill. Procrastination is universal.

Sometimes we just can’t seem to will our bodies to take an action our brain knows we must.

When it comes to my artwork, i’ve found most often that what i need to do is just get the dang paint on the canvas. Lay some color down. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect. (Paint is forgiving that way.) And once the first few strokes are placed, miraculously, the rest usually seems to flow. It can often be as simple and as easy as that. It gets fun again. You feel creative again. You get your spark back and you wonder how you ever got so stumped int he first place.

The first layer of color on a painting is a groundwork. It needn’t be amazing, but it has to exist so you can move forward and get to the good stuff.

And if you think about it, this same concept applies to many situations where fear or self-doubt creep in and paralyze you. Sometimes you just have to get the dang paint on the canvas.

Take the first step.

Make the call you’ve been putting off.

Ask for the raise you deserve.

Submit the manuscript for your great american novel.

Email your portfolio to the retailer you’ve been eyeing up to represent and market your work (ahem.)

Get your goods, and your words, and your art in front of people!

i’ll tell you something you already know:

Everyone has fears when it comes to their own abilities. Everyone gets stymied from time to time and sort of  locked up by those fears. The only thing i’ve ever found to snap me out of it….is starting.

It’s amazing how great every second after that first one feels…How easy it flows… And how i always want to kick myself for not busting out the paintbrush a little bit sooner.

12 thoughts on “Getting Color on the Canvas

  1. Indeed the first step is always the hardest! One trick I do is to go for a walk, call a friend or do something fun to distract myself from dreading the first step. Then when I come back to it with a clear mind it suddenly seems much easier :)

  2. So true! Getting started is always the hardest. When it comes to getting paint down – as much as I love it, I seem to freeze up sometimes. I think it all comes down to that fear of failing thing – and when I feel like that then I start procrastinating. Sometimes for days at a time, even the housework is more appealing. But I’m learning (slowly), that turning up at the easel and putting those first brushstrokes on has to happen! And it really does flow from there!

  3. I definitely hear you. Especially the part about how, once you start, you wish you had gotten started sooner. I don’t know why its so easy to put things off, but we just have to revel in the satisfaction and joy that happens once we finally get going.

  4. I often find that just starting is the hardest part…but once I am in, I cannot stop! Great post today. It is always nice to read that others have similar struggles and how they deal with them.

  5. So true and so applicable to many areas of life! I always love the creative process once I’ve actually gotten started…. even if “starting” means staring at all my pretty paper and waiting for inspiration to strike :)

  6. I literally have canvases that have been sitting next to my desk for over a year…because they’re big and sort of expensive and I’m scared to use them! But I’m starting to realize the same thing; starting is half the battle. Or, really, almost the entire freaking battle!

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