Painting Lies We Tell Ourselves

Smokey Mountain Stream | 11 x 14 | Oil on Canvas | SOLD | ©Beth Cole

Smokey Mountain Stream | 11 x 14 | Oil on Canvas | SOLD | ©Beth Cole

My husband and I did a long road trip last week and we always like listening to podcasts as we drive. One we really enjoyed was “Photography Lies You Tell Yourself” on the Picture This! Photography Podcast by Tony and Chelsea Northrup.

It made me wonder how it applies to the painting world, are there lies we tell ourselves as artists? Hmmmmm. What do you think?

Here are some I have told myself many, many times!

  • I don’t have enough time to paint. Many beautiful paintings have been produced by artists with young kids and/or full time jobs. We can’t use time as an excuse to keep us from painting! Everyone has the same amount of hours in a day. Sometimes you have to say “no” to the good in order to say “yes” to the best. Do you want to improve as a painter? Carve out the time and make it a priority. Miles and miles of canvas will help you improve more than anything.

  • This brush will help me paint better. Oh this is a good one. I remember when I first started painting, I would always be so curious about what kinds of tools people were using, what type of brush, what size, what bristles, etc. After I had been painting for awhile, I realized that good brushes, do indeed make a difference, but many beautiful paintings have been created with crappy brushes. Art supplies will never solve our skill problems!

  • I will feel more like painting tomorrow. Oh boy, this one is tried and true. Honestly, are we EVER in the mood to stare down a blank canvas? If we wait until we “feel like it” we will never get anything painted. I say, just turn on your music and get going. The feeling will follow the action and you will be so glad you just started!

  • Drawing doesn’t matter. I think under every good paintings lies a good drawing. The great thing about drawing is you can always improve and practice really helps. Some of the best artists I know spend much of their free time with a pencil in hand. My favorite drawing book is this one, it really helped me to begin to see and draw more quickly and accurately. I still have a long way to go!

  • If the economy were better, my art would sell. Man, I have told myself this one and heard it so many times! Sheesh! This is such a cop out. There are so many factors related to whether artwork sells or not. If you find your work is not selling it might be a marketing problem, i.e. the people who are interested are not seeing the work – or it might be a pricing problem, either it is over priced or under priced – or (and this is usually the reason) – it is not your best work! I believe our main job in relation to selling our work is to continue to practice and improve so we are offering the best work we possibly can to a watching world. What a beautiful calling.

I’m sure I have missed some painting lies we tell ourselves, can you think of any? Please do share.

You read to the end! What a dear. Many thanks.

Soli Deo Gloria