Stage Fright

April 1st, 2012

I had my second oil painting class this week, and it started just like the first one. I stood in front of the easel with a blank canvas and an assignment, and I couldn’t move I was so scared. I couldn’t think how to begin — the tiny canvas seemed vast and overwhelming. Once I made a tentative daub, I was able to overcome the jitters and enjoy what I was doing. But it’s that first pause before going onstage, jumping off the diving board, raising your hand in class that often prevents me from doing something new. In that first pause, I’m always so afraid I’ll fuck it up — whatever it is — that I back away, pretend I don’t care, give up before I give it a chance. I love painting lessons just for the eye candy of the oils, the smell and texture, the way my monkey mind gets turned off for two hours and I lose track of time — not because I’ll ever be serious or good at it. It’s teaching me that I don’t have to excel at everything I do, and in the case of painting, that it’s getting lost that’s the payoff.

5 Responses to “Stage Fright”

  1. Diane says:

    Amazing!!! I love this painting, Nikki. I can almost smell the paint and feel the strokes – and the pleasure! – in my fingers. It makes me want to paint with oils. . . or with anything. And your description of “getting lost” once you allow yourself to begin – perfect.

  2. There’s nothing better than getting caught up in the process and losing track of time. This happens to me with my camera and in the studio more so than it does with writing. I haven’t painted in too long, and I’ve never painted with oil. This makes me want to tackle the blank square canvas sitting in my studio…

  3. lucinda says:

    Truly beautiful. I am blown away.

  4. nikki says:

    You’ll be glad you did!

  5. Absolutely gorgeous! You are better than getting started!

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