Paint What You Love (And Ignore The NaySayers!)

Paint what you’re keen on. We frequently hear that encouragement, don’t we? It appears apparent and fairly clear but I do know a few of my college students have a very arduous time following via on this concept even once they do know what it’s they love to color!

Let me inform you a narrative.

Just a few days in the past, a good friend of mine requested me if I had any extra greeting playing cards with the picture of one in all my work within the Vesuvius Seaside Women’ Membership assortment (also known as The Vesuvius Women). Oh my, I assumed, they’re nonetheless in demand!  

On a summer time day a few years in the past, I used to be portray at Vesuvius Seaside on Salt Spring Island. Chatting away close by had been 4 girls of a sure age. I smiled as I listened to them gossiping a few good friend who’d just lately taken up with a brand new man who they didn’t approve of. Moreover realising that some issues by no means change it doesn’t matter what age we’re, I saved considering, There’s a portray there!

So I snapped some photographs of the group as they sat chatting. Quickly after, as they headed to the ocean for a swim, I captured a couple of extra photos. I continued portray. Earlier than I packed as much as go, the 4 girls returned and I grabbed my digicam as soon as once more. (And sure, this was the time of digicam and movie!). 

After I had the pictures developed, I couldn’t wait to color them! I made a decision to color them though I used to be positive nobody would need to purchase work of a gaggle of outdated girls. 

Paint what you love: Gail Sibley, "Vesuvius Beach Ladies Club #2, pastel on Wallis paper, 12 x 18 in. Sold.
Gail Sibley, “Vesuvius Seaside Women Membership #2,” pastel on Wallis paper, 12 x 18 in. Offered.

Boy was I improper. 

I painted these getting old girls as a result of I cherished the imperfection of their our bodies and the attractive shapes they made. I cherished their varied swim costumes and the sensation of various characters that emerged. I did these work for me!

So yeah, it was a whole shock when not solely did all three work promote, however the prints I manufactured from them had been a few of my greatest sellers. (For years, I used to promote within the Saturday Market on Salt Spring Island.) I realised, the fervour I had dropped at portray these girls, got here via loud and clear. And, certainly, I can see know that there’s a universality to the topic that made it interesting to so many, even to at the present time! I simply didn’t see that on the time. All I knew is that I used to be drawn to color these girls, stunning of their maturity.

Paint what you love: Gail Sibley, "Vesuvius Beach Ladies Club #3, pastel on Wallis paper, 12 x 18 in. Sold.
Gail Sibley, “Vesuvius Seaside Women Membership #3,” pastel on Wallis paper, 12 x 18 in. Offered.

For me, this expertise is not any higher proof that, as an artist, one of the best factor to do is to color what you’re keen on!

We will be so influenced by exterior influences and expectations that we are able to find yourself portray topics that won’t actually resonate with us. We might imagine that landscapes are interesting to many individuals and so we must always paint them. Or, as in my case, we love being in the panorama due to this fact I ought to love portray them. Ahhhhh, no. 

I raised and cherished a parrot household. Does that imply I ought to love to color them? That will be one other no. (Positive I painted a couple of pastels of them however actually, my coronary heart was with the creatures not the portray of them.)

Gail Sibley, "Aloysuius," pastel, 8 x 6 in. Sold
Gail Sibley, “Aloysuius,” pastel, 8 x 6 in. Offered

Typically we’re actually drawn to color a topic however we don’t give up to that need as a result of we doubt our means. We expect, “That’s simply too arduous for me to color.” And so we don’t paint the very factor we’re pulled to color!

In these circumstances I say, let go of your personal expectation of an incredible final result when portray this new-to-you topic. Paint it and permit for the choice of an terrible consequence (maybe solely in keeping with your judgment). Then paint it once more. And once more.

Paint what you’re keen on! If you happen to do, you’ll be happier for the doing of it. Even in the event you assume nobody will prefer it, even in the event you assume it received’t promote, even in the event you assume others shall be shocked by it, even in the event you assume you received’t be capable of do it justice, I say, paint what you’re keen on. And don’t fear about all these What-ifs! Be taught from my very own expertise. 

Discover what topics make your coronary heart beat just a little quicker – these are the themes that talk to you as an artist. They might not communicate to different artists however they communicate to you. Listen. Pay attention. Then don’t fear about what others will assume. Don’t fear in regards to the finish consequence. Paint with ardour in your topic and that may come via. Paint what you’re keen on! And in doing so, you’ll share your emotional response whether or not joyous or unhappy, indignant or hopeful, amused or proud.

As at all times, I’d love to listen to your ideas about this subject! Are you aware know what you’re keen on to color? And do you paint it??

Till subsequent time,


PS. I realized over time that I like portray figures. I’m additionally interested in the way in which mild illuminates a topic or how colors might shock me. This may occur in landscapes, nonetheless life, portraits, animals, and concrete scenes in addition to with figures. I paint what pulls me, no matter it’s!