There was a time when I wasn’t very confident about my artistic ability. I was still learning techniques but the main problem was confidence in myself.
I couldn’t even get myself to draw or paint for a while. But then, I went to do an art workshop at Findhorn and it released my creativity. That got me painting but it was still years before I became good at it. Art has been there most of my life and I’ve dipped in and out sporadically. There have been times when I did nothing for years. I’ve taken it for granted and thought of myself as a mediocre artist.
That changed after my niece, Chloe, asked me to paint a deck of oracle cards. Forty-four paintings on the same project, it seemed like such a massive task.
Two and a half years later and I’ve painted twenty-three cards. Those twenty-three paintings have changed my painting ability. I’ve become so much more skilled technically and my confidence has grown.
Sometimes, it seems magical, like I’m not even the one doing the painting, I just dab the brush around here and there, sit back to look, and wonder how those marks are working better than I had envisioned. It’s not always like that but it’s true to say I’m a much more accomplished artist than I was twenty-three paintings back.
The paintings are in different styles, they are all bearing the signature of my hand, but quite a range of techniques. A big range of subjects too, some daunting, but I’ve managed to take on some challenging tasks.
“Paint me a woodland full of animals”
“I’ll do my best…”
“Paint me a crowd of people surrounding a breaching whale”
The more difficult the subject, the more my confidence grew, so that I don’t know there’s anything I wouldn’t tackle, which is just as well, because card twenty-four is a face one way, but when you turn it upside down, you get a whole other scene.
However, the twenty-second card became a bit of a game changer. A new style, a personal story, a triumph. To me, it blew everything else out of the water.
Now, I want to paint more and more in this one style, and it’s working with the theme of the womb, healing work that I’ve been doing with Jen Peters, part of the birthing process that I’ve been experiencing.
But I have a commitment to finish the oracle project as well, so now I’m painting the rest of the cards and starting new paintings, big ones on canvas, and they’re for sale.
I no longer take my art for granted and I’m no longer a mediocre artist. Now, I have to paint. Painting is my breathing.
The funny thing is, I’ve been asking, “What is my gift to the world?” and painting was there all along and I ignored it. I wasn’t ready to see it before. I am now. Painting is my language and I have a lot to say.