Write like no one is reading: “Willingness”

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Write like no one is reading:  WILLINGNESS 

Backstory:  Recently, I began to think about the traits necessary to keep painting when feeling lethargic about exploring my creative side.  Coincidentally, I’d read an article about the importance of writing, if not for others, than for yourself.  The phrase “dance like no one is watching” popped into my head and I decided to write a blog series exploring 10 traits that I identified and to put this into practice…write as if no one is reading.  I find that it’s easy to feel trapped by thinking about other’s opinions more than recognizing my own wishes.  My guess is that others may do the same.  Maybe writing with the idea that no one will read my blog will be “freeing”?  Today’s trait is #2 out of 10.

Willingness: it takes willingness to even begin painting, let alone continue. Being willing to take a risk every now and then. After returning home from Santa Fe, NM from a trip that resulted in myself exploring painting, I was willing to try something new. Being curious is one thing…an emotion and feeling…however I see willingness as a trait that can also imply taking action. I was willing to reach out to others and ask questions about how to begin painting. I was willing to walk the “artist” sections of the local Michaels Craft store (now I purchase pretty much all my supplies with Jerry’s Artarama). I really had absolutely no idea what I was even looking for. However, I was willing to try experimenting with all new-to-me paints, mediums and palette knives.

Purchasing painting supplies is one thing…then I had to begin painting! I think the fact that I was completely new to the experience was a positive. I was willing to plop paint onto the canvas, play with it, mix in various mediums and explore what happened.  I created a lot of seriously ugly paintings. Several in fact. Still do in fact! However, I also experimented with other “mixed media” item such as tissue paper, potato bag webbing, Star Bucks cup lids, Star Bucks coffee stirrers and sand. Willing to explore new ideas and inspirations just encourages more creativity. The painting pictured above (“Office of Don Draper”) meant trying a different painting technique with the palette knives and not relying on what comes naturally to me.

I believe “willingness” also applies to outside the studio. Being an introvert by nature, it’s easy to spend time painting in solitude. Of course, playing it safe means opportunities may not come your way. Talking about your art and being willing to share with others doesn’t always come as easily. Pursuing opportunities to show your work can be even more daunting. However, I find that the willingness to reach out has created opportunities I wouldn’t have ever thought possible.  There was a time when I decided to pursue being included as an artist with Skyline Art Editions.  I was willing to pursue that opportunity (and luckily approved) and that eventually let to framed prints being made available on Anthropologie.

Willingness to seek other’s thoughts concerning my artwork keeps myself from being overly confident. Sometimes, some gentle honesty from others is eye-opening (to put it mildly). My favorite was a comment referencing Pepto Bismol when describing one of my paintings… (Its pink) However…other comments/insights/impressions have proven provided valuable insight and helped me see my paintings through other’s eyes.

What are  you willing to do?

Next up on my list of important traits:  Curiosity

~Dawn Winter

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