Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Blank Canvas

Know what one thing both scares and excites me more than anything?

A blank canvas.

I've been this way for a long time.  I get so excited because I see all the potential of my new canvas (or paper, or whatever new project  I'm beginning), but I also have a major sense of fear.  That fear comes from a fear of failure. 

I don't like to fail.   (But then again, I don't think anyone does.)
When I'm starting a new painting, I usually have a vision in my head.  What if what comes out doesn't live up to my vision?  What if I totally screw this up?  What if everyone thinks it's terrible?  What if a real artist looks at it and thinks my technique or choices of color are terrible?  All of these things and many more race through my mind causing that fear to rise up.  Usually, I can overcome that fear when I make the first mark.  Sometimes it lingers, though.  When I finish, however, I almost always feel a sense of accomplishment, and I wonder why I ever felt that fear and why I didn't feel only excitement.

When it comes down to it, we are usually our toughest critic.  If someone doesn't like our work, it's just their opinion.  Some of the greatest artists and innovators in history were looked down upon by their peers.  Had they given in to the fear of that blank canvas, we wouldn't have some of the amazing works, inventions, and ideals that we enjoy today.

All of this brings me to my newest adventure/endeavor... this blog.  I was sitting here terrified by this first post... worried about what I would write and how it would be perceived.   Then I decided I just had to begin... anywhere.  So here I am.  I'm doing it.  I'm taking the plunge.  I'm going to begin sharing with you little pieces of myself.  It's a little scary, but I hope you'll be kind, and I hope you can take a little something away from what I write.

I'm not quite sure where to begin, but I think I can start by explaining the title of this blog, "Tails to Tell."  No, I'm not completely illiterate.  I know the difference between "tails" and "tales."  I chose "Tails to Tell" because I have a passion for animals, and I know they will grace the stories in this blog quite often-- the funny things they do, the life lessons they teach, and probably a few cute pictures, too.   I also chose this title because I finally got up the nerve to put some of my artwork out there for others to see, and I hope I can start making a sort of career out it.  I opened an online Etsy shop called "Tails to Tell" studio where my specialty is personalized pet portraits in soft pastels.  I'm also going to put up a few other things when inspiration strikes me.  Just so you can see, here are a few of my recent pieces... (sorry if you may have seen them on Facebook already)

This is my sweet little dog Murphy.  He is a natural when it comes to "modeling" for me, so I just had to do his portrait in pastels.

This is Arko.  He was an incredible dog that belonged to my old boss (when I worked in a dog kennel) and family friend.  Arko was one of the smartest dogs I've ever seen, and watching him work was awesome.  Unfortunately, he passed away of cancer a couple years ago.

I don't know who this guy is.  He is just a bird I found images of and wanted to paint.  I went through a "bird phase" and now have three birds hanging in my house.  

Well, that's a little bit about me and some of my artwork.  More to come very soon...

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