This terrified me

This terrified me

The process of this painting terrified me but I LOVE how it turned out and here's why.

So this was my second painting ever with oil paints as opposed to oil sticks, and surprisingly it was scarier than my first oil painting. That may sound weird, but the thing is, with the first one I still had ZERO expectations. I had never used oil paints like that (on a bigger canvas) before, so at that point I still felt like there was nothing to lose.

With this one I had the previous painting to look back to. In my head I go like (pretty much unconsciously !!): “Oh no, now I’ve set the bar this high so I must at least meet it again or aim even higher.” Yeah you can probably see the problem there. My perfectionism kicks in, thinking the worst thing that can happen is making a “bad” painting. Bad being completely objective here because consciously I know there is no real bad. What’s the worst that can happen? Nothing really, I’m just having fun here and there are only best things that can happen, like discovering a new way to achieve something or, best of all, having FUN.

After setting up the sketch with oil sticks I set up my paints, carefully squeezing them out of their tubes onto my palette. And in I went. Basically working in three steps:

  1. Oil sticks (setting up the sketch)
  2. Oil painting (which was basically the majority of this painting)
  3. Oil sticks (the finishing touch)

My dread came at step 3 because I set up such a smooth underlayer of oil paint (mmmm yess oil paints are really good at that). But wait! I was so ready to add oil sticks and now I felt terrified of ruining my smoothly painted “base”. Was I really gonna have to go over it and “ruin” it with oil sticks. My perfectionism wanted to play save and screamed NO. But I knew better, this wasn’t the time to play safe. I had to go in, I wasn’t gonna ruin it of course, even though a part of me tried to trick me into thinking that. I was going to play and it was gonna be fun. I had to tell my perfectionism to please sit down and have a cup of tea and watch, it was gonna be okay, trust!!

I went in and yes, it was scary. With every line I thought, shit, no going back. Then slowly that all started to dissolve, eventually it turned into a whisper at the back of my mind. It was there but not taking over anymore. The thing with going in is; I have to go ALL in or not at all, no hesitation, no flinching, no doubt. Just go. And that’s when it becomes fun, when I trust it all because I realize there is no wrong. Once again, mistakes don’t exist in creating. I had to go for it, dive all in. There is honestly so much to be found in feeling both scared and excited, and nothing to be lost all. 💖


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