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Seaton Sands
Seaton Sands

Fear is the constant companion of the artist!


Fear is the constant companion of the artist

Getting going again is proving to be a bit of a problem. Here we are in the second week of 2014 and I still haven’t started painting again? I have however, been up onto the Exmoor and down on Seaton Sands collecting images.  (the Levels are in flood and not what I had in mind for my winter scenes)

some of the photos taken on Exmoor and Seaton Sands

Fear is the constant companion of the artist! 

Is it procrastination? Am I deliberately avoiding getting going on something new for the New Year?  I have already started telling myself all I really want to do is abstract and that I am not sure I can make the landscape abstract enough!  Excuses!

Making excuses, being scared of failure, procrastinating, avoidance, putting off the inevitable.  Yes all the above and more and more as time goes on.

I have five canvases prepped up and I have bought a further nine, just to sit there!  Teasing me!  I did have the idea in my head that I wanted to go back to landscape, abstracted landscape that is!  Now in this New Year with all the materials in place I find myself frozen with fear again.


I will not be able to do it! I will not do it justice! I am doomed to fail and make an ass of myself to boot.

How do I bring, all I learnt and did last year into play this year.  It should follow on naturally, in theory anyway. Sketching hasn’t helped, I have done some sketching in my sketchbooks and frankly they are too representational. Perhaps I should turn to doodling again, or perhaps I should just get on with it.

sketches of Exmoor

sketches of Exmoor

Some of the abstracts I did last year were landscapes of my mind and I loved doing them.  They were the best of my works from 2013.  I want to bring this element of my work forward into ‘actual place’ if I am to satisfy myself.  There that is the crux of the mater, satisfying me; my hardest critic

click to see gallery

Fear is the constant companion of the artist!

do I think I can pull it off;  spirit of place and not depiction? from where I am sitting now, the answer is a resounding NO! As I haven’t a clue how!  What I do know is that unless I bite the bullet and get on with it, I will always think I can’t when perhaps I can!   I also know, I will learn from it, I will stretch myself and yes I probably will never fully achieve an abstracted landscape that I will be wholly satisfied with; but I will learn more by having a go at that which is frightening me.

Click this link to see my attempts at abstracted landscapes in the past

Salvador Dali said ‘have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it’

If any artist could have; it would have been Dali

Being afraid sucks but it is a necessity for an artist.

Being vulnerable and opening yourself up to failure is not easy.  That willingness to take the first step, to offer up your insecurities; to risk alienating yourself and looking like the fool that you often feel you are, is a part of it.

It’s about having the courage to be unfinished, imperfect, and a continual work in progress…  Fear is the constant companion of the artist!

Get on with it or doodle, that is the question! Get on with it I know I will have to at some stage but doodling looks good at the moment

Watch this space

please share with me how you get over your fears and move on; in comments below.

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  1. Mm yes my friend the blackness is never far away and you cannot paint in the dark. Be like the Monk turn your back on it and face the sunrise of a new dawn. M

  2. Sharon,

    You mention that you are having trouble moving into the work of 2014. Might I suggest just working. Yes, in the sketchbook … even if it is to representational; Yes and start some bigger or more complex work too.

    Let working carry you through “the darkness.” It doesn’t always work out … but it is a way of moving, going somewhere.


    • Thanks John I know your right, perhaps it is too precious to me (the Landscape) that is. I am finishing something off from 2013, once that is finished I will have to bite the bullet and just get on with it. best ashar

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  4. I know this. It is your inner kibitzer hissing in your ear. The voice has a lot of back-up. All those times in the past … .
    My goal this year was to gain an understanding of what making a mark on a surface means, what it takes to make that action, how the marks add up to an image.
    I’ve managed to tell my nay-sayer. “Past failures are no guarantee against future successes.”
    I guess I just wanted to say that you have company.

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