If you are a painter, do you paint without fear? Without fear of results? Without fear of mistakes? without fear of peer pressure? Without fear of failure?
Over my years as an artist I have taught many classes and workshops. The single most numbing factor I see affecting people's ability to paint is fear. They fear they aren't good enough in front of their peers. They fear making mistakes. We all make mistakes while painting, it is part of our growth process. If we don't fail, we won't learn to improve. Who cares if we make mistakes? It is just paint, paper and canvas right?
I have learned through many years of hard work to paint without fear. If I make a mistake I'll pull out another piece of paper and start another painting. If painting on canvas I'll just paint over it. If it is a complete failure - and yes I have those - then I'll get out my gallon jug of gesso and put a new surface on the canvas! I encourage students to have the same mindset. Always keep moving forward.
When I began painting 25 years ago I thought it was fun and I loved it, although it was a struggle. It was a joyful experience for me so I kept painting. I read book after book after book about art and I kept painting. I took workshops from some of America's best painters and I kept painting. I made lots of mistakes and had lots of failures and I kept painting. I went through acres of paper and canvas and I kept painting. One day I began to realize that my victories were outnumbering my failures. I learned how to analyze my mistakes and failures so that they could be minimized. And I KEEP painting - Without FEAR!