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White Flowers, Purple Storm

 White flowers, Purple Storm. Oil on canvas. 16x20

Okay, this is an important painting for me in that it marks a major turning point in my work! I was super disappointed in my last oil painting, and decided that something needed to change. My last painting made me realize that I was putting a huge amount of pressure on myself. I wanted every little brushstroke to be perfect and wonderful. I always had an image in my head - a stunning, beautiful image! - of what I wanted the painting to be when I finished. Never would I have the skill to live up to these expectations. They were actually crushing me. My rampant perfectionism was hindering my work, instead of making it better. I was so scared of messing things up that I never took any chances, never did what the painting needed me to do if I wanted it to be beautiful or stunning. To reach high goals, you have to risk failure. You just have to. Caution and fear are not going to get you there. I realized that, and so I made a change.

I love animals, and so it is animals that I love to paint the most. Since I hold animals in very high regard, naturally I wanted my paintings of them to be perfect, beautiful and stunning. I cared far less about landscapes and other such subjects, so I thought: "let's put animals aside until I can learn to loosen up and take chances!" Landscapes = low expectations, and thus less fear of failure to deal with.

So this is the painting where, honestly, my thoughts were:
"Let us throw perfectionism out the window!"

I slapped paint on. I didn't hesitate. If I had an idea that I thought would work, I went for it. No thinking about it. Ignore the doubts. Do not listen to the voice that says "no, wait, are you sure?" Just paint. Just do it! That takes a little practice. It's not getting rid of fear and doubt; it's learning not to be shackled by it.
I ignored most of my hesitation. And my painting was better for it. It was proof that I was on the right track. After the disappointment of my last painting, this one was a high boost to my morale.