Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Colors Of Courage

"It is only when we are no longer fearful that we begin to create."
- Joseph Mallord William Turner

Art is where I have courage.  I started my latest painting with those words because courage is something I have been reading about and thinking about a lot lately.  Specifically, I was remembering a conversation I had several years ago where someone pointed out to me how carefree I was when I was making art and how different that was from how I approached many other areas of my life.  That was an "Aha! moment" for me.  It got me thinking about how I could apply the lessons art teaches me to create a more carefree life.  I'd like to think that since then I've learned to loosen up a little, stop second guessing myself so much and take a few more risks but I have to admit that I still find that easier to do on the canvas than anywhere else.

"I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never
let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do."
- Georgia O’Keeffe

Anyway, I don't always start my paintings out with words but sometimes I do.  Sometimes the paintings that start out that way wind up reflecting or expanding on the words (like when "Shut Up And Paint" became "Just Listen") and sometimes they don't.  Either way the words are usually obscured by layers of paint long before the work is finished.  In this case, however, the word "Courage" kept lingering and popping out at me, so I eventually made it part of the painting.

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
- Brené Brown

No, this isn't a painting of some ass kicking, weapon wielding, super hero.  However, I do think it is a  portrait of someone who has known heartache and is brave enough to keep on loving; someone who has experienced hurt and betrayal and dares to continue acting with kindness and integrity; someone who has felt the sting of rejection and disappointment but remains determined to keep  moving in the direction of their hopes and dreams; someone who, like many people I meet on my canvas, is a lot like me.


  1. my art life is also very very different from my real life (except maybe my cooking! lol)...I slap paint around, chop up paper and have a mess on the floor... in other areas of real life I am usually quiet and afraid.
    I do not know how to address this. Maybe another something I have to work on in 2013.

    good post

    1. Thanks, Tammy. I think making art helps us address other areas of our lives more than we sometimes realize. Just keep going.

  2. I've also learned a lot of Life-lessons from my art - and even blogged about them - and as for transferring your Art way-of-being to other areas of your life, I do think it gradually gets easier as you get older. That's the way it has worked for me, anyway.

    Just keep on keeping on, Victoria, and 'feel the fear and do it anyway' - as I'm sure you already do!