Don’t give up painting – especially when doubting your ability.

I’m on holiday in the beautiful north east in a small village with two beautiful and contrasting bits of coast. On one side there’s a yellow sandy beach overlooked by a harbour. On the other side of the harbour the coastline is very rugged and rocky with orange an yellow stones…. no sand. I took a few photos on my morning walk on Sunday and want to paint something but of course the usual self doubts were there. I am not very good with watercolours (which is what I have with me).

However, I checked my emails I saw this quotation from Vincent Van Gogh in one of them:

“I shall count myself very happy if I can manage to work enough to earn my living, for it worries me a lot when I think that I have done so many pictures and drawings without ever selling one. Do not be in too much of a hurry to think that this is an injustice. I myself don’t know in the least.” Vincent van Gogh, letter to his sister, May 1889

At least I’m a hobby artist and not trying to make a living at it! I decided to compose a picture from my photos and do a painting, not worrying about its quality or merit as a work of art. It does you no good to compare with others and worrying about not being as good as them.

My decision was affirmed by my morning prayer on Tuesday using the Northumbria Community Celtic Daily Prayer with a portion of psalm 37. I meditated on the whole psalm and felt that I should commit my art, once again, to Jesus, seeking His inspiration and the creative work of the Holy Spirit within me.

The result isn’t my best work, and although I can see lots ‘wrong’ with it (especially the relative size of the driftwood and the boats), I am pleased that I did it. I will not ‘fret’ because other people are better artists than me.

Beach at Beadnell

These are the photos:

I awoke the next morning with the words of Psalm 37 – “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”. And so another day, another payer time, another inspiration awaits.

I hope you also feel brave enough to have a go at prayerfully writing in your bible or doing a picture or painting.

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