This is the scariest thing I’ve seen in a long time.  I am literally unable to start – I don’t know where to begin.  I haven’t picked up a paint brush or a pencil in over 35 years.  So I just stare at it… clueless.

So, I start to ask myself why.  Why does this scare me?  Why can’t I just “do it”?  And lots of reasons come to mind.  Fear of failure, fear of criticism, what if I’m not able to paint or draw anymore, what if, what if, what if…  Where do I start?  What should I paint?  Why is this so hard?

I have wanted to get back to my fine arts roots for a very long time.  I got derailed early – right after college and it seems like I just can’t get back.  I’ve tried a few times, but obstacles keep putting themselves in the way.  How to remove the obstacles?  Not sure.

So – what happened?  My major in college was painting and drawing.  The 2 local universities had fine art departments but at the time I thought I wanted to go into commercial art.  That seemed to be where all the jobs were and I wanted to be able to make a living after college.  Neither school had a commercial art program so I knew I would need to attend a school that did if I was to get a degree in that field.  Since my parents were paying for my education I talked to them about it and they initially agreed that if I was accepted somewhere then I could go.  Got my portfolio together, sent it out into the world and after several rejections, I was accepted at a school in Ohio.  I would only need an additional year and a half of classes to earn my degree.  I thought I was on my way.  Then for reasons I still don’t know, my parents jerked the carrot away.  No, I could not go.  I never got a satisfactory answer as to why not.  So, I graduated from the school I was currently attending, adding business classes that seemed to fit with my desire to work commercially and I settled.  I did the best I could.  Now – backing up a bit – during my senior year I became engaged.  My parents did not like him.  Not one bit – but never really said why.  I couldn’t see any reason not to marry him, so we made all the plans to get married a few months after I graduated.  1 week before the day I said “I do”, the carrot returns – “if you agree not to marry this guy, you can go to that art school after all”.  I was stunned – why now?  Obviously they thought this was the only way to get me to not get married.  Really?

I was very confused – everything was paid for – would my parents really just throw all that money away?  I didn’t think so.  Money was always an issue around our house.  My $40 wedding dress was too expensive.  I ran the idea by my fiance – would you mind waiting another year so I could get my degree?  Nope.  He wasn’t for that idea at all. Either we get married now or we wouldn’t get married at all.  (Should have listened to my gut at this point).  So I did what I thought was my only option – got married.  Turned out to be a bad idea – he left after I paid off all his pre-marriage debts (which were huge) to go back home to live with his parents.  There were other things, but I won’t get into that here.

So – he fled to another state, left me with the lawyer fees and car payment – both of which he was supposed to take care of and which forced me to take a second job.  Working a full time and part time job left me with no time for anything else and the paints dried up, the pads of paper got ruined when the water heater in my apartment leaked and it all had to be thrown out.  Over 5 years pass.  Met and married my second husband but even though I only had to work 1 job full time, there still did not seem to be time to pursue anything artistic.  So much time had passed – my confidence waned.  My brushes, which for some reason kept, sat on a shelf collecting dust.  I guess I gave up.

Fast forward to now.  I still really want to paint and draw again.  Despite everything that has happened, I long to do it.  But I’m scared… I don’t know where to start.  In a way this seems rather odd because after an almost 30 year hiatus I took up playing the oboe again because I missed it – for whatever reasons this did not seem so intimidating or scary.  I’ve been playing for over 10 years now and love it!  Even took up a second instrument to boot – the English Horn.  If I can do that, why the hesitation to paint again?  Should I audit a class at the university?  Take a class at a local studio that offers them?  Dive in?  It all seems daunting.  And right now I don’t know what to do.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Candy
    Jul 24, 2017 @ 19:29:54

    Start small. Notebook and pencils. Go out and scetch all different things. Don’t worry about them being perfect. I just wish. I could do any kind of drawings.


    • leamv
      Jul 24, 2017 @ 20:54:22

      Well, Candy – if I can do it so can you! Apply your own advice here!! Thanks for replying – trying to screw up the courage.


  2. chrisknits
    Aug 04, 2017 @ 07:27:31

    It doesn’t take courage, it just takes doing. Start by doodling, start small, don’t think about an end product, think about the process. Just like knitting, one stitch at a time.


  3. Trackback: Scared, but not as much. | Ginger Cat Knits

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