Sometimes I look at my source material, usually a photograph, and I think, “there is no way I can paint this.” Or it happens when I’m already well into a painting and I bump into a part of the image I can’t seem to resolve. I try and try and can’t seem to get it right. I think, “there is no way I can do this.”
This happens because painting is hard.
Sounds obvious, I know. But it’s amazing how easy it is to forget. Instead of thinking how hard this thing we’re trying to do actually is, we think about how we are inadequate. We feel small and incapable and tell ourselves we’re not up to the task.
But the truth is that it’s not us. We’re not to blame. Making art is hard. Being brave about forging ahead when you think you can’t do it is hard.
So try this: be stubborn. Refuse to give up. Paint over the mistakes and keep going. I find if I persevere through the doubt and frustration sometimes I find I actually can paint the painting that was too hard. But the bottom line is: don’t give up. Keep at it and something useful or good or inspiring will come from it.
So be brave. And if you can’t be brave, be stubborn.