That is advice that I've taken to heart in my two-and-a-half year painting journey. I purposely put myself out there in a way that strikes terror in my heart.
Last week's painting marathon attempt, while it may have sounded light and exciting, was actually rather frightening and difficult. By early afternoon, I was having symptoms akin to what I imagine long-distance runners experience: physical exhaustion, doubt, panic, and an overwhelming desire to throw in the towel. Instead, I muscled through the tough parts and ended up painting a respectable 9 portraits.
Tomorrow night I emcee The Reason, a beautiful Christmas concert at Keyano Theatre. Last year, organizer Bev Fawcett asked if I might attempt to paint and emcee at the same time.
"Sure?" I said, with a definite rising inflection of doubt.
While it turned out great in the end, the pressure to produce a finished painting in a very limited window of time was very present. The gorgeous music, gracious audience and spirit of the season helped me overcome any lingering self-doubt or fear.
I head to the stage again tomorrow evening for the 2016 version of The Reason, with another request to emcee and do a painting. I came up with one idea that I thought was fun, but I've decided to go in a completely different and somewhat abstract direction. I'm going to break new ground (for me) in front of 500 people.
I think it is when I feel like I'm standing still as an artist that my energy starts to wane. These live painting opportunities put me in situations where the energy spikes and the creative senses are enhanced. I'm looking forward to seeing what emerges from the canvas tomorrow night.