Waiting Until You’re Ready to Paint

Sometimes I feel regret for not having done something sooner…

And this will be common sense to some, but for me I need to remind myself, that sometimes the stars need to align just right for you to get a thing done that you’ve been meaning to do, and I think that’s okay. Maybe it was meant to be done later, you know?

Maybe you needed to have all the pent up energy for it to just happen one day, like a sort of mini explosion.

I mean, usually I’d say you need a series of ritualistic actions that you need to force yourself to do on a regular basis in order to get anything done, because you’ll never FEEL like going for a run, or breaking a bad habit, or getting out of that relationship for good…you’ll never FEEL like doing anything out of your comfort zone, ever.

Hugh Laurie said “It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything”,

But now I’m thinking…

Maybe forcing yourself could end up in a series of failures that aren’t really failures…you’re just not quite ready. In which case, I think it’s okay to wait until you ARE ready, by just moving more slowly in that direction.

Waiting for the right circumstances is natural and inevitable. It’s happened all my life. It happened yesterday,

I picked up some oil paintings for the first time and I mean wow, it was fun.

I was pushed over the edge to finally try it because of three things that happened simultaneously:

    • An abstract artist recommended a documentary on Basquiat. He was a 20-something year old whose paintings sell for millions now, who hammered out hundreds of paintings a year while moving to music, painting not exactly what he saw but how he was feeling. He made it look fun, effortless, natural, and most poignant of all to me…doable.
    • Then conveniently my Dad found a bunch of blank canva’s & oil paints in the spare room, which he was about to throw out.
  • Plus I had some empty hooks and spaces on my walls.

It was time. The time had come.

And so, on a particularly sunny day off from work, I got up early and gave life to these two:

Oil on canvas – 24/01/19, James Baldwin & Nina Simone, 2+3 hours

It’s perfectly what I had in mind, which for me is an absolute win. Turns out I knew more than I thought I did about painting with oils.

Which is another thing I think translates across all elements of life…most of the time, you know more than you think you do and you’re capable of more than you think you are capable of.

But I’d been moving in that sort of direction for a while…I’d been going to more art events, talking to more artists, had sorted out my art supplies and cleaned up my desk…heck, I’d even cleaned up this website.

I’ve been stressing about having nothing to show in my portfolio, but I’m starting to see that I just wasn’t quite ready. Like plantain or pears. I wasn’t quite ripe.

I have been getting ready, though.

And going slowly, while keeping it in mind, and all those previous failed attempts…added up to a thing that I have now finally done.

Very cool. Awesome. Note to self: you’re doing good. Keep at it.


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