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Feeling Joy While Painting

I have finally achieved a goal that I have struggled towards for many years; to be able to paint a simple scene like this with a modicum of skill. It was scary, this scene, and I have procrastinated every day for months. "It won't be good enough, it'll suck, I will be so critical of my work while I'm painting it that I'll get depressed, and so on."

But after doing a poster study and then summoning the courage to begin, I found it went workmanlike, one step after another. Checking value here, adjusting the drawing there. And then yesterday, and today, I felt an emotion I have never felt while painting; a thrilling, thrumming, sustained joy. In place of angst, there was joy. In place of frustration, there was patience. In place of self-cruelty, there was gentleness.

For me this painting was not just a modestly successful first attempt into a genre I'd never attempted, it was a lesson in self-kindness, it is a lesson in joy. I hope the joy I felt while painting this little scene brings some joy into you. I am optimistic that I will continue learning and growing as an artist and as a person who is increasingly kind to myself when I attempt to learn new things.

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