Writing is something which comes fairly readily to me most of the time. But painting? I’d never thought about it until I joined a watercolour class for fun, and realised quite how difficult being creative can be. See my efforts below as evidence:

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I hadn’t painted anything since school. Lots of people have never written anything since school. It gave me some idea of the difficulties many people have with writing.

  1. Many of us work blind. We do not know about techniques which help us to become proficient in our art, be it writing or painting. We need to be taught the basics.
  2. The fear factor. None of us wishes to look inept; it’s scary. It is quite a challenge to go public! Feel the fear, as they say, and do it anyway.
  3. Time. While I think I can write virtually anywhere, to paint I need some peace/quiet/focus. For many people, the same probably applies to writing.
  4. A good teacher makes all the difference, and by good, I mean one who knows their stuff but is also relaxed about it/allows mistakes.
  5. You sometimes have to take risks. Try things. They might not work but the more you try, the better you become. People could at least recognise the items in my pictures. That is a start. Most of them have something positive therein, a smidgeon of hope in a feature somewhere. Writing is very similar. You may find a sentence you like!

 

Lots of people see the similarities between writing and painting. There’s a lot of discussion of preparation and technique in the link post, but I think it misses two vital areas where the two creative acts combine.

  1. There needs to be a creative spark, an element of imagination, an idea to develop; something needs to instigate the process.
  2. We also, to be successful, have to want to do it, and keep doing it, to work hard at it, while also enjoying it. It needs to be compulsive as with my friend, Karen. She feels about art as I do about writing.
  3. You have to, eventually, have the courage to go public, even with the rubbish parts. Hence, my paintings are there for all to see. If people like them, they will say so. If they don’t, they may say nothing (no harm done). If they criticise, then that’s a positive, all part of learning to be better.

What’s really great is that it is a real confidence boost when someone will part with good money for your work. At a recent art exhibition, where I was encouraged to display my poppy painting, I was stunned (and pleased) that it was the first piece of art sold that evening, that someone, himself an artist, liked it enough to want it. It’s the same with writing. Give it a go.