The ‘fearful’ brush stroke!

This may sound like esoteric babble, but I am convinced that it is absolutely essential to paint like we mean it! In my workshops, I have met many students who are potentially great painters but are held back by a crippling lack of confidence in their painting abilities.
They are controlled by fears and believe me, a fearfully applied brush stroke shows! Therefore, I will now put up a sign like the ones you might see in the Zoo:


When painting, act like you know what you’re doing. Paint like a master painter and ignore all the other clutter in your head. I know negative thoughts have a way to keep creeping back, but just do like they recommend while meditating: ignore the thoughts that pop up and focus on the task at hand which is applying pigment on paper. Nothing else.
We are not interested in what the painting looks like later on or when it’s done. Stay in the moment.

Maybe some of you have heard this great saying that might apply just perfectly for this kind of situation: Fake it until you make it!

I have just completed teaching my last workshop of the year and I am pretty exhausted. For the remainder of the year, I will be focusing on my own work. I will be part of an exhibition at Studios on the park in December and January and there’s still work to be done for that.
One of the students in my workshop was visiting from Norway and she bought two of my paintings! Thank you, Astrid!
Maybe I should also mention that she mainly came to visit her son who lives here in California? But that would take away from it, wouldn’t it! Anyway…

2 thoughts on “The ‘fearful’ brush stroke!

  1. lesliepaints

    I have a never-ending reminder to myself that anyone who puts one stroke of anything on their paper “is” an artist. There is something good in everything I see and that is how we grow. Finding our truths and maximizing on them. If the tone can be set, there is no reason for the fear.

    1. frankeber Post author

      I generally agree with you. However, I think most artists are too tentative.. maybe it’s just in workshop settings which I can understand. They probably do better in their studios.
      When I jury a show, it’s easy to see who is on to something and who is still trying and searching. I guess it is all part of growing and finding truths as you put it!

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