27 April 2019

This project is harder on me than I every thought it could be.

When I came up with the idea, the point was to make time and space in my life for creative pursuits, to show up every day, to do something I enjoy doing, and maybe get better at it as time went on. I mean, if you do something everyday for a year, surely to goodness you’ll improve with time, right?

The idea was also to connect to spirit and allow my intuition to flow through the paintings and the photos.

I used to spend a lot of time on social media looking at photos that were so beautiful yet so unreal. I would read blogs and posts about how getting a great photo meant hours and hours of post-production in software like Lightroom and Photoshop. I signed up for online classes, tutorials and what-not hoping to learn and be able to produce photos like the “masters”. I quickly became disheartened. Once again, all the beauty we were seeing online and, in the media – such as magazines – was in fact, fake.

You know, the earth is beautiful on her own, without needing special filters and tune-ups in Lightroom. I understand why photographers go that extra step…I mean just look at the results. They are stunning and that’s what sells today…stunning photos. Call me lazy (no, please don’t! 😉) but I would prefer to save myself lots of time by skipping the post-production step. I didn’t always feel that way though. There was a time I wouldn’t let anyone see my photos until I had a chance to go through them and “tweak” them in Photoshop or Lightroom. But it would take me a long time to get them done and I either did nothing else for several evenings until they were done, or I put it off and didn’t get around to sharing my photos for several weeks.

So, part of my #365CreativityProject is to upload my daily photo in its true, raw form. No editing, no tweaking, no adjusting the highlights and shadows…just uploading it as it is. The perfectionist in me has had a tough time with this part of the project. (Even tougher as I have a yearly subscription for Photoshop and Lightroom and I have barely used it since January!) There were some images I took in the first month or two that really could have used some adjustments and I was so embarrassed to upload them without adjusting them first. But, as time has gone on, I find I spend more time adjusting the controls on the camera, changing the aperture, f-stop, ISO, etc. until I get a better photo. Now, there are still some photos I would prefer not to post…but that’s that perfectionist in me that I keep suggesting take a hike, but she keeps coming back. Sigh.

Another part of this project is to not compare myself to others…easier said than done…and not care what others think about me or my artwork…another sigh here but a much bigger one 😉

Some days I find that I’m holding myself back because I want to create something people will like…I’m actually stopping myself from creating because I’m fearful of what others think…

I shared this little tidbit with my Mom today. Do you know what her response was? Well of course you don’t but I’ll tell you: Wanda, has any one ever said anything negative to you about your paintings or photos? Now I’m paraphrasing here but you get the gist. No. No one has ever posted a comment saying my artwork sucked or anything to that effect. In fact, there have been paintings I thought sucked and was very embarrassed to post them only to have someone comment that it was their favourite! Art truly in the eye of the beholder! Mom also reminded me that I could stop posting my artwork online, but I really want to continue with this exercise. I feel like it’s a great way to really learn to let go and not care what others think…to just share my creations, my joys and to get to the point that I’m creating for me and not thinking about what people might like, what people might say, what might sell… but to just be in the moment with my paints, with my camera, and with God, giving thanks for the natural gifts he gave me, to share them with him, with the world, in whatever way I can. For it is when we use our natural gifts and talents that we feel closer to God, and we feel joy, and we share this joy with others.

So, tomorrow, when I sit down to paint, I will first thank God for this precious gift, then I will take a deep breath and allow spirit to flow through me, guide my hand and my thoughts, and I will allow the painting to come to life on it’s own…no preconceived notions, no hang ups, no caring about being judged or what others may think. I will just be. Be with God, be with my gift, be in the moment. And so it is.

Today’s photo of the day is of a sparrow that stopped by the feeder this morning. As soon as I saw him I knew he was new to the feeder…although he looked like a sparrow, the yellow on this head gave him away as a newcomer! I consulted my Bird Studies of Canada poster and was delighted to learn he is a white-throated sparrow! I was delighted because I recently learned that one of my favourite bird calls is made by this bird! (I posted a video clip of a white-throated sparrow singing to my Instagram feed.)

White-throated sparrow
117/365 Photo of the day 27 April 2019 ©WQuinn

I explain the white line through the lighthouse on my Instagram feed too!

Watercolour painting of lighthouse

117/365 Painting of the day 27 April 2019 ©WQuinn

And here’s the large paper sectioned off. I haven’t finished the top six squares yet. I think I might cut them into individual squares, then complete each one separately. Might make cute fridge magnets!

Watercolour painting in progress
Watercolour painting in progress

These posts have become a sort of diary/journal and I like adding info about the weather because….well it’s been pretty strange this year! Today was quite cold with rain and snow flurries…yes, you read that right! Snow flurries! Plus the water levels are rising…expecting to peak around Tuesday. Flooding in many parts of the Ottawa-Gatineau area, as well as Montreal and New Brunswick. Tonight, overnight, it’s supposed to go down to -6C. Brrrr….


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