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The Willpower To Succeed

Those of us who are really skilled at turning their hand to anything creative are usually intimidated by others who have obtained degrees in this and that.

I began watercolour painting much later in life, and for some of us this can be quite a daunting experience if we have never picked up an artists brush in years let alone ever at all. I had been told by my father when I was eight that I would never make money being creative. I had been conditioned to believe I had to work a nine to five and that was that. From then on I never bothered with art.

I began one day by simply using some old make up that I had lying around in a drawer. I grabbed some paper and began the journey. There was an art gallery I used to visit sometimes opposite my local library where I picked up books on a weekly basis. Gazing around the walls gave me the chance to read about the artists.

I remember wishing that I could paint something good enough to exhibit. One day after arriving home from the gallery I tore out a piece of A4 paper from my diary and began drawing. I found some old lipstick, eye shadow and pencil, that I had kept for years. I began drawing and was amazed at the result. I decided then I wanted to get serious about art so off I went shopping for paint, brushes, watercolour paper and canvasses.

My first attempt using the correct tools was a disaster as for my second and third. I became disheartened and tore the paintings up into shreds. I felt I was not a painter. It seemed hopeless yet the one I had painted earlier using make up had given me the incentive to go out and buy the ingredients to make “real art.” I needed to attend some art classes and felt afraid of looking foolish in front of strangers. My determination to hone this skill was stronger. I finally found a class I thought would be suitable for me.

Upon arriving at the art class, I felt like running away as soon as I got there. I forced myself to keep walking slowly into a room of artists who had been painting all their life. I went from one room to another, some spoke to me as I admired their work. The smell of oil paint was quite nice yet it made me anxious.

I eventually found the watercolour section and was about to embark on what was going to be a dream come true for me. I had set a goal which required overcoming a lot of anxiety and the dreaded fear of failure. I was there amongst it- ready to begin with some of the best artists in the country. It was now or never. As I worked on my first watercolour painting of “Mt Warning” in Australia.

I could not hold the brush, my hands shook badly with nervousness and I was awkward. I almost froze. At the end of the session the tutor was impressed along with a few other artists who asked me how long I had been a painter, I felt a little silly as I mumbled “Its my first day.

“The encouragement I was receiving gave me the courage to go back and practice and learn the perspectives of art. I was starting to become confident with using watercolour. I set myself little challenges everyday by painting something that was difficult. Roses are something I find quite a challenge, it was easier to paint daisies, therefore I kept up the roses until I could paint them as easily as the daises.

Seven months later I teamed up with a well known commercial artist from Sydney. learning the perspectives of art was not an easy task for me, as I had battled the cruelty of dyslexia all through my school years therefore I had to master this part of art if I was going to live up to the my own expectations of being the best artist I could be and expand my capability in being diverse.

I was brutally honest with my peers and casually yet confidently told them “I was dyslexic,” therefore it will take me longer to grasp these fundamentals. I immediately felt embraced with tons of encouragement once again. I was asked to join a local group of artists who were exhibitors which gave me the opportunity to finally be able to see my own paintings hanging in the art gallery I had always visited and wished I could be a part of.

What ever your passion is walk towards it. There will be challenges on your journey, don’t be in a hurry. Slow and steady wins the race and remarkably my dream came true.

Please click the link to view some of the work I have completed over the past two years.

Article By Greta Jourdane

Food for Thought:

Far from What I Once Was But not Yet What am going to Be…

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