The Antidote to Feeling Bad About All of Your Art Supplies…

Hi friends! I love it when I set a personal goal and it ends up having positive side effects I didn’t anticipate. When I decided to paint 20 mini oil paintings in November it was more of a way to beat the “winter blues” and ride the high of having an art goal like I experienced during Inktober. I had really missed painting in oils so I thought hat would be a nice medium to focus on. I didn’t expect the other positives…

I had A LOT of oil paints back from when I had a downtown studio and taught two oil classes each week. I bought my oils in large economy tubes and had jars of mediums and brushes galore. Luckily oil paints hold up well and I haven’t found any spoiled paint in my stash. With each completed painting I felt lighter, any guilt over having so much paint dissipated with every canvas panel I used up. Knowing that I was putting the stuff I had (and my time) to good use while I worked on improving my skills was the shot in the arm my creativity needed. I loved that I didn’t have to run out and buy something new to improve myself.

I would wager that many of us have an excess of some supply we bought years ago when we were really excited about a project. The more those supplies sit around we either feel bad about them or become blind to them. Neither is a great solution. I think many of us think if we use up our supplies on a project that doesn’t turn out well it is a waste but think of the waste of space the supplies take up if they are not getting used regularly. Or the waste of supplies if they dry up or go bad in the package. Even if you paint an canvas and it is “bad” you have created something. You may have failed at the idea you had in your mind but you succeeded in finding out what didn’t work. Often the painting looks different the next day and you can always try scraping back or adding more paint. You can even cut the canvas off the stretcher bars and staple on some fresh canvas and try again if you feel bad about wasting a canvas.

Nobody creates a masterpiece every time, especially if they haven’t done it in a while so why do we think we need to produce a winner every time we sit down to paint? I’d go as far to say that if you do create a great painting every time you sit down to paint that you are not challenging yourself and trying new things. With failure comes growth. Life if made in the mistakes and so is art.

I hope this post helps you lighten up your expectations a bit in your art journey. Take care and happy creating!

P.S. I’ll have a new real time watercolor tutorial for you on YouTube this evening and tomorrow here on the blog:)

12 Responses

  1. This advice was just what i needed to hear today to get out of my creative slump. I like the idea of leaving perfectionism at the door of my craft room and being content with experimentation and presence/ THank you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lindsay-I have supplies from every kind of craft I have done. Having these supplies on hand gives me a feeling of security, like having a full pantry. I don’t often get out often to shop, mostly I just leave my house for doctors appointments. I’ve been disabled for 25+ years. I have my own “art store” in my craft room so I can craft whatever my heart desires.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love what you said here. I frequently say “it’s just a piece of paper” when I’m starting a new piece I’m unsure of. Guess where I learned that!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As always I love your positivity. Between mother of the bride showers and wedding I have let my watercoloring slide. Add to that that my sister gave me a 1974 Christmas tree skirt crewel kit, and instead of passing it on to Goodwill I undertook it as a gift for my daughter and husband as they love all things vintage. After this I’m back to your classes I’ve signed up for, and I needed to hear/read that those supplies I’m ignoring now will once more be used in the winter months as I try to get my skill back. Thanks for encouraging us all and I love all your oils!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Good advice I haven’t been painting all that long buut your blog inspired me to paint a watercolor card every day until the 20th of December I will have plenty of Christmas cards use accumulated supplies and get better. Pretty ccol!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lindsay, you are a wise woman, as I know when my life gets back on track, my art and crafts will lead me to joy and happiness. I love my art and crafts since they also gives me peace….PS…Yummy painting!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello Lindsay, as artists we seem to be following the same path of discovery and experimentation. I too have supplies that I bought but have not used for a long time. This past year I focused on watercolor; lately I’ve added pencils and acrylic into the mix; soon I will get back into oils. You have been instrumental as a mentor when it comes to
    using whatever I have to make my art vision take shape. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so open, honest and dedicated to sharing your artistic journey. It is invaluable to me, and to others. Keep on keeping on!!


  8. The Ball jar is so well done. Looks real! Love all your sage advice Lindsay.


  9. Love your yummy painting and yep i do over buy craft supplies. I weave 1 large one small loom, knit, sew everything and art quilts, wool rug hook, paint, make cards with stamps, scrapbook. I do overwhelm my self sometimes and buy something then realize i already have it! I think because i want to make sure i always have enough to do until i am 120!! Because I can’t work.. LOL I was like this when i was little though packed a “satchel” as my mum called it with things to do when we went anywhere!! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love how you encourage us not to be afraid to sometimes fail. As you have said, it takes mistakes to learn. Every attempt is a lesson learned and thus is not wasted. Thanks for being so positive and upbeat.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You are so write. I save up but no more. We have to practice right.


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