I Hate Wasting Art Supplies, But I’m Glad I Take Chances

The piece above is called Desert Dreams by Pary Darian (his website is dripping with gorgeous art), and I find it impossibly dreamy. So dreamy, I ordered a big ass sticker of it from Redbubble and put it on the front of my PS4 Pro. It’s aesthetic as hell.

I adore art; it inspires me, it soothes me, and it intrigues me.

Recently, I’ve been feeling the urge to paint again in a big way. If I can get myself to the art store, I’m going to make it happen.

Wednesdays are my days to get things done. I’ve had these realistic looking fake plants (three of them) sitting on the kitchen counter for months, just waiting for the pots to be painted. I had picked out a lovely art deco pink and, yesterday, I decided to finally paint them.


They don’t look good. I mean, they don’t look good at all. I’m sure I can figure something out to rehabilitate them, but, right now, they look pretty bad.

To be fair, I’ve never painted pots before. Even so, I blew it.

My partner looked at them and he said something to the effect of: “I like that you take chances on art.”

I thought a lot about that.

I do take chances on the art I create, no matter the medium. I mean, let’s be real here: I’m not an artist like the artist above. I’m not a “real” artist. I love creating and I love colors and I like to put those in motion on a canvas, but I’d never consider myself a real artist.

Even so, I love creating.

In 2009 I found out about an elaborate art store relatively close by. My partner and I make a trek there and HOLY CRAP. It was a wonderland. The best part? They carry the canvases I prefer, and I stocked up on them.

While we were there, I saw what can only be described as a big ass canvas.

I wanted that big ass canvas.

It was around 5 feet by 7 feet (yes, you read that right). I knew immediately what I wanted to paint on it: a beautiful aqua background with wavy lines to represent seaweed or thin trees. I bought the paint. I bought the brushes. The canvas was so big we had to call a friend with a van to help us get it home (thank you, John!). That weekend, I was ready to tackle it.

The largest canvases I usually paint are around 3 feet by 4 feet. I’m used to how the paint dries and how long I have to manipulate it once it’s on the canvas. I use mixing mediums to achieve different finishes and textures. But I’d never had experience with such a large surface and I didn’t account for how the paint would dry before I was able to mess with it.

I got about halfway through painting the background and realized something else: I usually paint with the canvas flat on the floor; this canvas was too big for that.

To make an exceedingly long story short, I blew it. It turned out horribly. I had wasted the money on the canvas, the paints, and the various other supplies. I was really upset at myself.

I hauled it out to the dumpster and broke it apart. It felt cathartic.

I didn’t paint anything for a long stretch after that. I felt wasteful.

Of course, years later, I realized at least I’d tried. It could have been great, it just wasn’t.

When my partner reminded me yesterday that at least I was taking chances on something artistic, it resonated with me. Even if it was only painting pots, I’m glad I tried. I’ve tried some things and been pleasantly surprised. I’ve tried other things and been disappointed.

But at least I’ve tried.

I’m grateful for that.

I’m more ready than ever to paint some new canvases. I have so many exciting (to me) color schemes I’m ready to see come to life; I just need to get to the art store.

Canvases, here I come.

Do you like to create art of any kind? If so, what? Please share; I’d love to hear about it!

8 replies »

  1. Please post your paintings as I’d love to see what kind of wonderful bubblegum pink aesthetic paintings you’d create.

    I used to sketch a lot, I always wanted to draw superhero comics but I’ve really neglected that part of me for years now. When I pick up a pencil the lines don’t come out like they used to and I just give up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I can get myself to the art store, I will post images of the result just for you, Mike! I actually just painted a tiny (10″x10″) canvas super bubblegum metallic pink (I was trying to channel 10 year old me if she had access to art supplies) with star glitter sprinkled across it. It’s delightful and not great but I kind of love it.

      Oh my goodness, I’d love to see your sketches!! Hey, you’ve got to start somewhere again, right? I honestly believe in you.


  2. I don’t consider myself an artist, either, but I am a creative person and I am constantly creating something. Mostly stories, but I like doing things where I build something or draw something or envision something. There were two key things in your post that struck me. The first was when you said you wouldn’t consider yourself a “real” artist, but I don’t think there really is one. You simply are an artist when you are creating art, regardless of how it turns out. If you want to get technical, you’re only an artist when you have a job as an artist. The English language is often really difficult and picky about these things, but I believe you’re an artist when you create art. The outcome really doesn’t matter, only the effort and the attempt matter. I’ve made plenty of things that were just awful, according to my own tastes, but the end isn’t the goal. The effort is the goal, the time and investment are the goal. So, say what you will, but I will always consider you an artist.

    Now, that said, the second thing that struck me was when you mentioned throwing out the painting you made and smashing it up. How it was cathartic. I think that’s a really powerful statement because, while I think you meant it as though you were smashing up a failure, I see it as a letting go of a project, finishing it they way it was always meant to be finished. I guess I’m saying that it’s like this painting you wanted to make had a predetermined fate, which was to assist you in expressing yourself and help you release that energy. So the act of painting was important, the smashing was important, but what you painted wasn’t. You could have drawn a straight line and then smashed the painting and the point would have been served.

    But that’s just me, I’m pretty crazy. Anyway, I fully support you in continuing to paint and explore your artistic side. It doesn’t matter what you paint or how it comes out, it only matters that you paint. Or create. Same thing, really.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think what you said makes a lot of sense. And, while I’d definitely think that of others, I’m not sure I can apply the artist label to myself.

      I never thought of it that way. I’m going to be thinking about that for a while, honestly. Thank you.

      Oh I will continue to paint!


  3. Congrats for trying! Creative tasks often take iteration to get right with all of those mistakes and trashed pieces happening along the way. I’ve been trying to return to art too, mainly pencil/marker drawings, but I just haven’t made the space and time yet. Keep making art, it’s worth the effort!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness, I didn’t know you drew!! I’d love to see some of your work sometime. I really would.

      I hope to pain some sooner than later. I painted a little 10″x10″ canvas a couple days ago and it greatly amused me. I tried to channel what a 10 year old me would paint if she had access to art materials. I think I nailed it. :) It’s metallic pink, and has glittery stars scattered across it. It’s delightfully juvenile and makes me smile.


  4. Here lately I have been finding paint nights around Cleveland & surrounding suburbs with differing themes that I like. I painted a fun tree. The next paint nite were doing a play on Monet’ Impression, Sunrise.

    Liked by 1 person

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