Last Thursday I was invited to give a Zoom presentation to the lovely members of The New England Society of Botanical Artists (NESBA). They are also a chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA)
It was lovely to be able to share experiences and ideas, and for the theme of my presentation I chose inspiration and motivation. Painting is quite an isolated practice, and it’s so easy to allow our inner impostor to stop us from enjoying our painting. I shared my own experience, and some thoughts on how to get out of the cycle of high expectation and disappointment.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to actually enjoy what you do. Our lives are full of stress and pressure from many directions, and it’s very easy for us to put too much expectation on our painting. We forget that we paint for pleasure.
Over a few weeks earlier this year I made a few Instagram Live videos. These became a sort of Motivation Monday where I gave a few tips and ideas for starting the week with a positive mindset to get creating.
For these videos I shared loads of my own work, and top tips on a range of botanical watercolour themes. These are still available to view on my Instagram IGTV grid. Click the links below to watch
Whenever I share my own practice I always emphasize the importance of wellbeing and a positive mindset. If a day is already stressful, the painting we try to produce will reflect that stress, and it won’t be good. Adding to our stress. It’s okay to stop painting, walk away, and leave it for another day, or a few hours.
Here are some of my top motivation takeaway ideas if you’re feeling the pressure.
Take your time
Keep it simple
Paint little and often
Get into nature
Don’t forget, just keep breathing
For my series of acorn paintings, I focused on the same subject but made each one different to give myself a bit of challenge. Changing the lighting, playing with angles and choosing interesting acorns made each painting unique.
By focusing on just one subject, I found the process of painting each one more relaxing and enjoyable. Every morning it was a bit like sitting down with an old friend. It also gave me the chance to really practice the techniques needed. Also, acorns are pretty small, and unlike flowers, will last for ages while you paint them.