"Teddy," 8" square, portrait of a stuffed bear (buy the painting, get the bear too!), $199, inquiries may come to me.
Today I broke routine and painted from life, using a well loved treasure The Princess and I rescued from the stuffed animal bin at the Salvation Army.
We are creatures of habit. We love routines. Routines get us moving and make us happy and comfortable because we know what we are capable of and what to expect in return. But routines can also create a false sense of security. They can deceive us. They can hold us back. We all have that little voice in our heads that reminds us “Why try things differently when the status quo has been good enough all along?”
Because if we don't step out of our comfort zone, break that routine and give something new a try, we are seriously shortchanging ourselves. We limit our opportunity to learn, we allow fear of the unknown to rule decision making, and we firmly root ourself in present circumstances.
10 years ago I was a painter, specializing in lifesized or larger animal portraits. As you might imagine, these paintings took a month or more to finish. And as two or three pieces left the studio, dozens more were brewing in my head. I wanted to paint some of my ideas, but couldn't justify compromising commissioned projects to do so, nor could I turn down paying projects to explore unproven concepts and experiment with my materials.
After much anxiety, I decided to carve an hour out each day just for my own muse. It was terrifying, the idea of working on a piece for only an hour, especially when I spent weeks on the larger paintings. I gave myself permission to fail - but just as importantly I held myself accountable by building a blog and sharing my ups and downs. My daily painting project began, and within a few short months it literally changed my world.
Over the course of the next six years, what started out as creating daily paintings purely for me became
…....accepting daily commissions which became
…....marketing regular sales and branding Painting a Dog a Day which became
…....partnering with animal welfare groups, supporting fundraising efforts through the sale of my art, which became
…....premium press and publicity which became
…....raising the bar and studying my craft which became
…....painting exhibition pieces winning honors which became
…....accolades earning teaching credentials which became
…....desire to articulate which became
…....writing multiple books which became
…....a backbone of workshops which became
…....visibility to galleries and representation which became
...... whatever tomorrow brings.
Of course, there were lots of pitfalls along the way, like in real life. It's not been all fun and games – it's actually been harder work than anything I could have imagined. But it's also far more rewarding.
And none of this would have happened without stepping outside my comfort zone one day and challenging myself to paint something within the window of an hour.
What are you afraid of? Break that routine and see what magic you can create for yourself!