Cultivate Your Confidence: Part One

Cultivating your confidence is like cultivating a garden. 

First prepare the soil. Dig it up and turn it over to get it ready for the seeds. The soil needs air to make room for growth.

Do you want to learn to paint? Are you open to the idea of learning something new, something that’s outside your comfort zone? 

Confidence starts as a germ of an idea, a “seed thought.” Our mind has to be ready to accept it or it won’t take hold. Can you believe in your abilities? Can you try to believe in them? 

If so, go on to step two, answer some questions: What is your weather like? How much sun and rain do you get? Can you water your garden easily or will it be a hassle? 

What subjects interest you; what do you want to paint? Do you have reference materials, photos, or objects nearby? Is it easy to get a reference image or can you take a photo?

There are no right or wrong answers, just information from which to make decisions.

Variety provides excitement in a garden and in life. Plant a variety of flowers and vegetables. Start and keep several paintings in progress at all times. 

Next plant your seeds and water gently. Be patient. Watch for signs of growth. It takes time. Check back often. 

If you watch closely you might see signs of the dirt moving out of the way as the seedling pushes its way toward the sky.

The sky begins where our feet touch the earth!

Take classes, practice often, and sketch regularly. Sketches are rough. They are a quick way to get ideas out of your head and onto paper. Be easy about this. Sketching trains your eye to really see the world.

Adults are used to knowing what to do, and are often impatient when learning something new. Get over it! You are worth the time it takes to learn to paint!

Within days all of your seedlings will have two “practice leaves.” These first leaves are not their “real” leaves, that’s why so many different seedlings look alike. The next set of leaves will reveal the true nature of the plant.

Consider your initial paintings your “practice paintings.” You are learning how to handle the brush, water, and paint. Future paintings will give you more information about your true nature.

Set up a painting practice. You develop as you paint. First set aside time each day to just think about painting. Even five minutes will help.

My next post will offer more information on how to continue to Cultivate Your Confidence as you learn to paint with watercolor.