So, sometimes I paint something and I get to the end and I do not like it at all. Usually I don’t show you those ones. Vanity is a powerful force. 😉


This is my first completed painting on paper this year; in fact it’s the first time I’ve picked up a brush this year {although there has been some sketchbook playing}. And it is more of a colour study and practice painting – I won’t be framing it any time soon – but excuses aside, here it is, in all its awkward glory.


Why? Because I tell Creative Spark ecourse participants repeatedly – and I write about it here too – that it’s ok to make art you don’t like, and if I’m going to feel I have a leg to stand on I must apply everything I say to them {and to you} to myself.

I absolutely believe it and stand by it, but if I’m making such art and not showing it, it might seem that I only make art I’m really happy with and proud enough of to share. It might seem that I’m a better artist than I actually am. 😉


Obviously I don’t say ‘but you must always share your work, even the stuff that makes you cringe’. But as you’ll know from my post about teaching, you’ll be aware that I am more interested in ‘teaching’ by example and alongside, than in any kind of academic way.


So yes, anyway. This painting was pretty painful from start to finish. One long ugly phase if you like. I knew the reference photo wasn’t really good enough to support me in making a good painting, but I just wanted to put brush to paper and get started.


Of course not everyone hates this painting; I shared it on Instagram and Facebook and received some lovely feedback. Which is one of the reasons you can’t ever say a piece of art is shit. One person’s visual feast is another’s hideous eyesore.

And naturally it’s encouraging when you bare your artist soul and experience that vulnerable feeling, and receive postivity in response. It’s quite a good argument for braving it actually. No one else sees what you the creator sees, because you’re seeing and remembering every sticky moment and every ‘not quite right’ detail. Others tend to be much more forgiving.


I suppose the truth of it is, the reference image is me, and the final painting has made me look kind of hard and wierd-eyed. Vanity again. 🙂 Even though I don’t aim for accuracy on the whole.

colour_study_tara_leaverThe main thing is though, I did it. And that’s probably my main point today:

Always always better to paint something than nothing at all.