A dream of mine

This is hard for me to share. This stresses me out, to the degree that I had to take breaks while writing this! I have a dream to paint and therefore be known as a painter, some of you might find this strange as you might never have seen a painting of mine ever! That’s because I don’t have any, I have hardly ever done any, EVER! Why would someone who has never painted want to do it so badly? For me there is something so ultimately romantic and beautiful about painting. I’ve gazed for many hours at different types of paint arranged differently on canvases and for me it just captivates me, it floats my boat. There’s also something so dramatic about the hopeless story’s of painters that incites me, be it Van Gogh’s lonely plight or Rothko’s heart to change the world. In my mind a drawing is always a preparation for a painting, in that analogy I’ve spent my whole life preparing but never performing.

Part of the reason for not starting is because I’ve been so ‘creatively stressed’ from my previous failed attempts from painting that I’ve put it off really pushing into it. I’m scared of being rubbish at it and I’m scared of being a failure so much so that I don’t even start! I’m even scared of admitting it to myself, this has been going on subconsciously for years. In everything I do, I want to do it well. I want to be known for producing quality and to be marked out for it. So to be not only average but shockingly bad at something I want to do, hurts.

This simply wont do. I’m going to take some positive daily steps that will help me get closer to my goals ( some might call this Occupational therapy ) I have a very particular style of image making I want to make with paint, I just don’t have the skill to do what I need to do as yet! So here is my very public plan to get me going, and please feel free to help me and talk to me about this to encourage me along my painting path.

1) Draw daily – I flipping LOVE drawing! I feel comfortable with my drawing style but I want to get a lot better in my technique. I’m buying a really nice book and It’s going to come everywhere I go and I’m going to draw everything I see. Some of you might think it’s strange to plan to draw when you want to paint, but for me it’s very much part of the creative process. Let alone my painting style will hopefully incorporate image making techniques from drawing.

2) Paint regularly – This seems obvious and of course it is. The reason why I haven’t done this so far is that I find the clearing up part of painting laborious. Therefore I need to find (a) a type of paint I like (b) a method of applying it I like and (c) a way to minimise the mess.

3) A paint space – I have always used the excuse of ‘I don’t have the space for it, so I can’t start it’ This has a bit of truth in it, wherever I’ve lived before it wasn’t appropriate to have an easel set up and leave it, that isn’t true any more. I’m going to keep a place for my brushes, paints and boards at all times so I can just paint when I have the time.

4) Get over the failure – When it comes to creativity I’m not patient!! Which does apply to some over things in my life ( driving ) I need to come up with some coping strategy’s so that this process is a lot less stressful for me. Although I don’t have any answers on this yet, one idea I have is to make light of the fact that I’m a crap painter and do a semi-regular piece on my failed attempts on this blog? In a attempt to make failure part of the creative process, which it is normally for me.

5) Research – I’ve used this method to my great advantage with photography. I’ve found peoples work I like, I embrace their stance, their Ideas, their techniques, I walk with life and add in my own ideas and create!

I also feel now that this is out there, I have no turning back, I need to get over my fears and paint. Here I go.

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Rob Brookes - June 4, 2014 - 3:38 pm

I’m sure you will get there and create paints with your own style. Good luck and happy painting.

Kev Challis - June 4, 2014 - 3:42 pm

That’s quite inspirational Phil

Mel Cowell - June 4, 2014 - 6:01 pm

fantastic post makes me sad that I gave up painting though. photography took over were painting started for me. Its never too late though my grandad started painting when he retired just do it because you enjoy it and don’t get stressed enjoy the process. Inspirational as always phil x

Mike James Harvey - June 4, 2014 - 6:44 pm

Brave of you to be so vulnerable Phil, but you should definitely do this. I agree completely about the need for creative space – it’s so important for my writing – and also about the need to just press on, even when you feel what you’ve produced is rubbish. So let me encourage you: go for it!