Daily Painting Challenge: Day 1

I have an unreasonable, vague fear that sometimes paralyzes me when I think of painting.

My goal is to stop listening to it.  So, today, I’m committing to painting every day.  No matter what.  I’m just going to show up with my brushes and my paints and my willingness and see what happens.

That video I posted yesterday helped me a lot.  And so did this book that I’m reading called The Big Leap.

I want to live in my “Zone of Genius” — not to say that I’m a genius at painting, but that this is My Thing.  I want to use my talents and run my race with all my heart and breath.

And darn it, I want to stop living a life that bores me.  I’ve been so tired lately, and I wonder if it’s a little bit of winter blahs combined with a little bit of passion pushed down and unused.  I love my life, my family, my everything, but some days, I look around and think… Blurg.  Well, according to The Big Leap guy, that’s my mind/body telling me to get with the program already and do the thing I was made to do.

So, I decided:  I’m going to paint every day this month.  God willing.  (Barring natural disasters and cholera.)

I’m going to post my work so you can all hold me accountable.  And hey, maybe it will be fun to watch an artist flounder through her growing pains and eventually find her voice.  Or her colour?  What does an artist find, exactly?

I decided to keep going on a work in progress that has languished since two summers ago.  This is what it looked like before I started today:

underpainting still showing.  amandaschwabe.com


Then I added more layers and changed things up a bit:

detailing.  amandaschwabe.com


I thought I might stop there, then I realized that I was only thinking of stopping because I’d have to mix some green.  Since that seemed like a silly reason to stop something so fun, I sucked it up and kept going.  (And I learned something useful about myself: I don’t like mixing colours when it interrupts the flow of painting.  In fact, I have stopped painting in the past for just that reason.  How bizarre.  I resolve not to let that stop me any more.)

I progressed to this stage and wondered if I were done.  I stepped back and looked at it for a while and decided I was not.

work in progress.  amandaschwabe.com


I realized the shadows were too warm and some of the stitches were too… different.  So I did this:

Twist by Amanda Schwabe


And that’s as far as I got today.  I’ll look at it for a while before I decide if it’s done or not.  When I’m finally convinced there’s nothing else to do, I’ll sign it.  Or, I’ll see something I don’t like and change it.

What is holding you back from living the life you were made for?  Is there anything you can do today to make time for Your Thing?