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creating with confidence

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I have been watching a lot of video tutorials on painting, sketching, trying to improve my knowledge and skills.  In one that I watched, a famous water color artist (I’m new to this world, so I don’t know who he is) said something like, “The thing that most paintings lack is confidence.”

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That comment reached into my creative soul and touched a nerve.  

Like he was speaking to me.  

It wasn’t a comment made in judgement or superiority, but in encouragement.  Like all artists, painters, creators, doodlers, drawers, crafters, and makers should have confidence in their work.  

I wonder how many of us really do…

So, I’m working on that.  Not being overly critical and learning from my mistakes instead of balling up the paper immediately and pitching it.  See what’s good and what can be improved.

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I don’t think we often think about practicing when it comes to art.  While I do think there are people with a natural talent, it is a learned skill as well.  It’s one that can be honed, refined, and developed.  

It can be improved with practice.   

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And confidence is something that can be gained in that practice.

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Slowly but surely.

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PS – All of the items I shared yesterday will be listed in the online shop Thursday, August 25, at 8:00 pm EST.  You can see a list of items coming soon HERE.

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Comments

  1. What I’ve learned in my piano career is that success is made of 10% talent and 90% practicing and only the ones who truly believe in themselves and their work make it the top.

  2. pamela says:

    Please share the names of the videos you have been watching.. I am delirious over your paintings,,, and have been drawn to learning the art of watercolors.. Thanks for your transparency and sharing your life..
    Blessings,
    Pam

  3. carswell says:

    Even those of us with a natural talent for art have to learn technique and practise. There’s a reason that we artists take drawing classes and draw, draw, draw until we can’t see straight.

    Watercolour is one of the more challenging mediums – it requires an ability to control your brushwork but also an ability to accept that the water, pigment and substrate (paper) will also contribute to the end result in ways that are beyond one’s complete control.

    And then there’s the issue of style… That’s probably the toughest aspect of the process for one who doesn’t have a natural/innate talent. It will come though – and confidence is key to that. When you no longer have to think through every brushstroke or colour choice your personal style will start to evolve naturally.

  4. Am just loving seeing your posts filled with a whole new artistic medium! They’re beautiful.

  5. Melissa Leach says:

    You will be able to create some awesome hand painted Christmas cards this year!

  6. Connie J Harbor says:

    I think you have found your niche! Your watercolors are amazing…

  7. Marion says:

    Expanding on this idea of confidence, I would like to add that starting out with a single medium and not trying to do too much at once. Giving oneself time to explore with one medium will push you into that place of trying, then doing something with confidence. Water colors is definitely a journey, but what a wonderful way to pass the time. No matter what one paints, it will be lovely.

  8. Your watercolors have come out beautifully!!!!

  9. Mayanna Howard says:

    What gives you confidence is knowing you are able to do something. In order to gain that knowledge, one has to try and try and try; in other words, trial and error. Perspective and contour are hard for everyone. When painting something rounded such as domes, trees, or animals, remember that the shaded side is several shades darker than the sunny side; now here is the trick, bring some of that dark-side color around the edges of the lit side, and presto chango, you have contour! Voila! As I told you before, you are really off to a great start and will be a pro very soon. A pro with cofidence.

  10. Raewyn Ward-Welch says:

    I remember reading somewhere that Degas (you know, the Impressionist painter) did over 500 drawings a day!! Now that’s someone who knew the value of practise.

  11. Joanie Ellis says:

    Marian!
    I’m CONFIDENT that your last picture was awesome!! I love it!
    great post!

  12. Kelly Hostetter says:

    I have found that confidence in my art (mixed media with graphite and watercolor) is founded on something much deeper. Since every artistic expression is unique to the hand that created it, embracing the “you” in your work is the first step toward mastery. Yes, by all means, stick with one medium and run the gammot with it, challenging your abilities and experimenting with every aspect of it’s properties, but learn to value your own unique style–your artistic fingerprint–and embrace it. Noone else can paint (or draw, or crochet, or decorate) the way that you do. THAT is the starting point of confidence.

    Course, this is not new to you, Marion, as you have been walking it out with your furniture for years. 😉 I love that God continues to challenge your creative voice and look forward to seeing what you do with it. I marvel at my own journey too(you can check me out, if interested, on facebook by searching “White House Old Tree”). Thanks for the blog.

  13. Love the brown calf and the gray and white cow face. I can see some of your watercolors becoming printed as note cards! I did it once with Christmas cards.

  14. Heidi Vagle says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! What an encouragement they are to me as I endeavor to start a new business and really do something I love! I met you once the the Lucketts spring fair and have learned so much from your blog! I am not sure where this road will lead, but I am excited to be on it! Thanks for being an inspiration!

    God Bless!
    Heidi Vagle

  15. Confidence! Yes. All I can say is keep on practicing. Find the good in each painting, acknowledge what needs improving and go from there. The confidence comes! I can truly say I’m an artist now where six years ago I didn’t think I was.
    Oh and I love your watercolors! You are doing good!
    :-)
    Cecilia

  16. Debbie says:

    OH my, Marian. Your evolution is continuing to inspire others. You are teaching art online as you learn yourself. My degree is in art education. Being able to inspire others to be strong enough, brave enough, transparent enough, to put themselves out there on the paper or clay or fabric,etc., is the heart of being a teacher of art. It is true that one does not need innate talent to be an artist. I believe we are all born with an artistic soul. Some just need more encouragement to start and believe in themselves. I loved seeing students blossom in their confidence. I had students who had my class assigned as an elective for continuing to college after high school graduation who were scared they would not do well. Of course, all I needed was a student willing to try to do a good job and they would surprise themselves. It was pure joy to see them realize that if they listened and tried the techniques and applied themselves, they were artistic! I used Betty Edwards “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” to help them unlock the right side of the brain and it even amazed me how well these exercises worked with practice and perseverance. It was amazing to see how much better my students got with her methods. Your Star Wars paintings amazed me. I could see your talent as a fine artist right there on the paper. I loved your style! I fully expect you to become quite proficient at painting cows. You just need to spend some time with your eyes and hands on a real cow. Study their anatomy in a book or online and then find someone with a cow that is comfortable being touched by humans and go put your hands on the cow and examine it closely and sketch. It will bring your cow paintings to a whole new level. My grandfather raised black angus but routinely brought other breeds in to see if they could improve the quality of the beef for his meat company. So I got to see lots of cows up close and personal as a child. My first pony lived with the cows. We used to throw apples from the ground in the orchard over the fence to them to see if they would get close enough for us to pet them. Some of them did. You could feel and see the different textures of the hair and tongue and nose. Your doing a great job! You are the only blogger I have continued to follow from many others. May God continue to bless you as you continue your endeavours.

  17. I misread the last paragraph and thought your little cow watercolors would be listed on the online store. I searched twice before realizing what you actually wrote! They’re precious and I want them haha.

  18. Vicki King says:

    Love the cows! You’re capturing them well! Congratulations!

  19. Diane says:

    I suppose if you think about it Marion do you remember the first item you painted with milk paint and what your thoughts were about it….and how much you have learned since then and how much better and confidence you have when you are painting a piece of furniture…or do you remember the first time you recovered a chair..were you really happy with the results or where you thinking I could have done that better or that wasn’t well done! Its like anything in life that you want to do well…we are our own worst critics…I remember the first piece of jewellery I made from scratch wire wrapping and coiling and I said to my husband what do ya think and he said it looks great…and then I said yes but look at that and look at this, I could have done that better…he couldn’t see the tiny mistakes that I could (and no not because his eyesight was bad back then) but because he was looking at the overall effect. I wish I had your natural talent for drawing and painting but alas I don’t, I am pretty sure that I never will because I am a little heavy handed.

    I remember back in the day going for a workshop on how to use that play doe stuff like clay who’s name escapes me right now, I could not get this clay to stay in shape and then my hands are always really hot and it was a complete disaster….lets just say my son when he was 3 could have produced something better..i just ended up with a dirty coloured lump of clay! Practice makes perfect as they say and of course the motivation to want to produce something beautiful (i never did have the motivation to work with that clay after that day) and of course “horses for courses”…some of us will never be able to produced a beautiful painting but we each of us have our own skills and we just have to find out what they are!

    My son who is nearly blind cant read or write but he can bake the best cakes ever without even measuring…me i make cakes that are like flat lumps of concrete!

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