Bird & Sunrise photo

Bird & Sunrise photo
Because "someday" is today!

Monday, December 29, 2014


"Envy" 5"x 7" watercolor on 200lb coldpress paper © 2014 Tina M Welter  Black and white cat behind fence bars with grape leaves as a background.
"Envy" 5"x 7" watercolor ©2014
Have you ever wanted something someone else had and then felt guilty for being envious?  I have.  I remember sitting in a church meeting and hearing a beautiful solo being sung and wishing I was up there singing it.  I have looked at beautiful pieces of art and wished I had created them.   The best piece of advice I ever heard was to notice that feeling and instead of being ashamed for feeling it, ask yourself "is this a key to what kind of creative things I want to do too?"

The next inevitable thought after that often is, "oh, I couldn't because....and next follows the inevitable list of why you can't.  All the barriers go up.  The trouble with these type of barriers is that some of they may be real and some of them are just illusions in our heads.  We also know deep down that doing something about what we really want involves work and facing the fear of being really awful at it.  It's easier to dream.

Here's an example of my goofiest barriers: Scarcity.  The paper/canvas is so nice, if I use it, I can't get more.  Anger.  How dare you suggest I can choose to use my time differently that what I am doing?  Home Runs. Expecting a perfect result the first time.  Time. Belief that I need a huge block of time to do something creative.   All of these excuses are illusions in my head that seem emotionally real.

My painting up there of my "Envy" cat is from a photo I took in Greece in 2008.  That year was a turning point for me.  That was the year I decided I was going to stop the excuses and take my desire to be an artist seriously.  My first oil painting in over 20 years, "Purple Glow", was really hard for me to complete, it took so long and I felt so discouraged.  I repainted it twice.  I did keep trying though, step by step learning something every time I painted and after six years, completing an oil painting is a much easier process for me.

That still leaves the singing, but I'll save that for another post.  So with the new year coming on, what is your one thing you really, really want to get better at?  If you don't know, what are you envious of other people doing?  What barriers stop you?  The "Envy" painting looks like the cat could be sitting at a window with glass, but she isn't, she is sitting behind a fence with open spaces she could easily jump through if she wanted.  Think about it.  

 To purchase a print of "Envy" click on this link to my Fine Art America site.
"Purple Glow" 8" x 6" oil on canvas ©2008 Tina M Welter  Sunlight through the petals of a purple pansy.
"Purple Glow" 8"x 6" oil on canvas ©2008

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Do You Expect that Home Run...Everytime!

"Partridge in a Fir Tree" 3.5x2.5" watercolor on paper, ©2014 Tina M Welter  Grey cat thinking about jumping for the partridge in the Christmas tree.
"Partridge in a Fir Tree" 3.5"x2.5" watercolor ©2014

In considering what has been one of the most frustrating "creativity killers" for me, I am reminded of a little mind game I often play.   Jeff calls this game "expecting the home run".  Meaning, I expect to perform perfectly and "hit that home run" the first time I try anything. Period.  Ok, maybe I'll give myself the second or third time, but dang it, if it isn't great by then, I get frustrated and feel like a complete failure.   Just as well admit I struck out and go enjoy some cracker-jack to soothe the nerves.   (Yes, popcorn is one of my favorite comfort snacks.)

It is so difficult emotionally to have my first efforts fall below what I can imagine in my mind.  The critic voices just line up inside my head, ready to pronounce their judgements, let alone all the internet trolls I can imagine.  It is enough to crush anyone starting or sharing anything.

Since images are a great way to tell stories and concepts in a compressed form, I designed the "Partridge in a Fir Tree" to remind myself what happens when I expect to grab that partridge way up there with one leap.  I can see that tree is going down in one tangled mess of cat and broken ornaments.  Oh yes,  I can also imagine the internal scolding for that mess!

I'm not saying that I should stop reaching for high goals, that is part of the fun of life, but I could let myself enjoy ringing the bell and tasting the cookie, which is absolutely within my reach, before I quietly work my way up the tree to get that beautiful bird.

Have you ever "jumped too high" trying to create or do something for the first time?   How do you deal with the feeling of failure or discouragement?  Was there easier "low-hanging" fruit, steps you might have tried first and enjoyed towards attaining your goal?  Perhaps you prefer the big crash, and the messiness doesn't bother you?  I hope to attain that type of non-attachment to results someday, but I'm not there yet. 

If this was helpful and you can you relate to it, let me know or share it with someone you know who is also addicted to "hitting the home run...every time!".   Thanks so much for coming along on the journey.

(By the way, this is the painting in step two after the sketch, in a tiny 3.5"x2.5" ATC, artist's trading card form.  I can see now where I need to adjust the colors for the final 5"x 7" larger painting.)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Is Your Best Ever Good Enough?

"A Partridge in a Fir Tree" 3.5"x2.5" graphite on paper  ©2014 Tina M Welter  Pencil drawing of a cat tempted by a bird in the Christmas tree.
"A Partridge in a Fir Tree" 3.5"x2.5" graphite

The sweet, sweet taste of low hanging fruit.   Do you ever allow yourself to enjoy it?  Are you wondering what I am referring to here?  What I am talking about is the concept of choosing a "course of action that can be undertaken quickly and easily as part of a wider range of choices or solutions to a problem." (thanks 
It seems sensible enough, look at what you want to accomplish and take the easiest steps.   I didn't really think I had a problem with this until I started looking at what has been really holding me back in setting up an on-line business and also in sharing my paintings and music.  I want everything to be perfect and the best before I share it with anyone.
For example, this little drawing.  I have had this concept in mind all week to share on my blog, but hadn't actually put pencil to paper to create it, because I didn't think the idea was good enough and I thought I didn't have enough of the right photos to work from.   Once I got started, I didn't end up hardly using any photos.  Secondly, I didn't manage to get it painted first before my Monday blog deadline came around.   I wasn't going to share, and then I thought "this is the whole doggone point!"

You may have noticed my sign up for a newsletter on the side of the blog.  I have decided this year I want to confess and share my creativity hang-ups with the you, in the hopes that I can face them better myself, be accountable and perhaps inspire you to do the same.  Even better, it would be nice to get feedback so we can inspire each other.  I can't be alone in this fear.

If you are interested, please sign up.  I don't spam or share e-mails, and you can always unsubscribe any time.  'Fraidy Cats, unite!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Finding the Perfect Gift...

"The Perfect Gift" 5"x 7" oil on gessobord ©2014 Tina M Welter
How much we sometimes scramble around, trying to find the "perfect gift"!  I think part of the fun and pressure of the season is the anticipation of surprise and delight we hope to give those we love.  

When I think of the delight of perfect gifts, I think of the movie the "A Christmas Story".   Young Ralphie spends the whole movie thinking his requests for his perfect gift - the Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and "this thing which tells time" - are not being heard or even worse, being dismissed.   Who hasn't experienced that intense combination of hope and uncertainty?

For me, it was a wish for an acoustic guitar when I was 17.   Being a teenager and shy, I don't recall being very direct about what I wanted, plus it was one of those things I had deemed "too expensive" to even ask for.   But like Ralphie, I was completely stunned when my Dad surprised me with the desired guitar on Christmas morning.  It was a second hand guitar, a bit worn, but I didn't care.  What filled my heart was knowing that Dad had heard what I wanted and did his best to make it happen.

Isn't that the key thing, the perfect gift is the feeling of having our wants and needs heard and noticed?  So my advice on finding the perfect gift is to really listen.  It may not be a "thing" at all, perhaps it is a wish for time spent together or an experience to share.   I hope I have given you something worth thinking about as well as a new painting image to enjoy.

Happy listening!  All my best wishes for a joyous season of giving and receiving.


If you feel this little message is worthwhile, please feel free to use the links below to share, or tell me about your experience with receiving your perfect gift in the comments below, I would love to hear about your joy.

Click here if you would like to buy "The Perfect Gift" as a card or a print.