Lessons learned from doing stuff you're not good at

So you all know that I love painting, right?  I've been painting with oils for over 15 years. I remember back before I started painting I was afraid to try oil paints and thought they were too 'difficult'. But that fateful day so many years ago, i tried it and fell in love with them. I pretty much took to oil painting like a fish takes to water (is that the correct analogy? You get the idea!)  I love the ability to blend colors to achieve beautiful gradients and I think the physical act of moving the paintbrush back and forth to get that perfect blend is super relaxing. 

I never really picked up acrylics. I went straight from watercolors (which, back in the day I hated because it was too "loose") to oil paints. I dabbled with acrylics but I never figured out how to blend them or use them like I do oils.

Recently I started following several art/painting boards on Pinterest and I totally love the works done in acrylic. I decided to really give it a try this time and I sat down in earnest this weekend to play. I love the colors and I love that the paint dries fast but at the same time, I hate that the paint drys so darn fast! I don't have time to blend! (unless it's a very small piece)

Look! I can blend if it's tiny! The little canvas to the right is 4"x4"

Look! I can blend if it's tiny! The little canvas to the right is 4"x4"

More tiny 4"x4" blending.

More tiny 4"x4" blending.

Blending? Not so much here.

Blending? Not so much here.


I have to admit, I'm really embarrassed to post a photo of this painting. I had so much drama with it. I had difficulties mixing the correct color green with the very limited paint selection I had. I couldn't blend the paint like I wanted and I don't think I was holding my brush correctly to get the kinds of lines I wanted. It turned out to be a muddy mess. But, here it is (please don't judge!)

Acrylic Painting disaster

Lessons I'm learning:

1. It's okay not to be good at everything.

2. It's fun to just play. Not everything has to be a sell-able masterpiece.

3. I'm learning to be a student again (You-Tube is my new BFF)

4. It's teaching me perseverance. I haven't worked this hard at something I'm not good at since I was in karate! Usually, if I'm not good at something, I give up right away. Or worse yet, I don't even try because I think I'm not good at it.

5. It's not too late to try something new.

6. And it's okay not to be good at it.


Do you paint? Are you learning something new? How's the process going for you? I'd love it if you could share some encouraging words/insights into what helped you through this starting something new process!


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