Pick Up Your Brush: Facing Your Fears

Do you have something you have been wanting to do, but don’t ever do because you are afraid you would stink at it? Afraid that you would fail?

Well, I did.

I just wanted to paint.

Not a wall. Not a piece of furniture.

Not just want, crave.

Paint a picture, “a real picture”, that I would actually show someone.

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For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be “An Artist”.

I had a corner in the basement with an easel and I even began making all of my Christmas presents in high school. When I got to college, I took an art class hoping this would be the step that launched me forward. I am sure I did learn some technical aspects of perspective, but the teacher was all about perfection so it was never a good fit.

For years I have felt a physical need to get out what exists in my head through my hands.

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Interior Decorating has filled some of this need, photography has filled a huge part of that need and, of course, this blog has held me accountable to try at creativity on a regular basis. For that, I am most grateful for the opportunity to be a blogger.

But yet, something still stirred.

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Two weeks ago I was in Hobby Lobby and ended up in the painting section and I actually and truthfully had a physical discomfort at how sad I was that “I couldn’t paint”.

Well, you know why I couldn’t paint?


How am I going to learn to paint if I don’t just start doing it.

So today, I am here to encourage you to pick up your brush, or piano, dance shoes or sneakers, or whatever your “brush” is.


If nothing else happens, you can say you did it and maybe you will even have fun.


I finally decided to pick up my brush.

I have had some ideas brewing lately, maybe it is the weather change, but I felt a need to create.

While showering (why do we get so many ideas in the shower?), I thought through some slightly technical ideas on how to approach a painting.

And so today, I picked up my brush and painted.

I used a photo I took in Paris as inspiration.

I put on some good spiritual music, was patient (well mostly) through the drying times of steps and painted with a peacefulness.

Honestly, I shocked myself. I have never done anything close to this.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am not under some disbelief that this is an amazing painting, but that was never the goal.

I will give more details in another post, but I traced the outer outline of the sign and the letters. Perspective was the biggest thing holding me back and having the shape of the sign in place gave me the confidence to move forward with the rest on my own. I was not looking to create a technically authentic painting, I was just looking to create.

The goal was to paint a “real painting” and in my book, this qualifies. It is my first painting.

I laugh to myself because, and I realize that this sounds overly dramatic, but I feel like all the things I have done in the past have lead to this.

That if I had tried this at any other time it would have been different.

The different projects I have done over the years have taught me things, seeing techniques for other projects in blogland, being inspired by artists who create each day.

And strangely enough, I almost feel like it is part of my Faith journey (I will share more on that soon, I think!).

All of those things combined to take me where I was today, sitting at my kitchen counter with a blank canvas, paint, and brushes.

So, what have you been really wanting to do but haven’t because you thought you would fail?

Don’t be afraid, all you have to do is..

Pick up your brush.

I would love if you shared in the comments a time when you “picked up your brush”. Or, share what your “brush” is, what have you not been doing and maybe you are ready now to try?

As always, thank you so much for reading!

I am sharing at

me artsy at farmgirl paints

and at

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29 thoughts on “Pick Up Your Brush: Facing Your Fears”


  1. It is beautiful my friend!! Good for you, I am so excited for you!! It feels good huh? 🙂 I love painting (no matter how many times I start over) it is so soothing and such an amazing journey. Keep going!!!

  2. It really is beautiful!! Hmm, what have I done or want to do that I haven’t? Go back to school. For some reason, I feel like I’m too old. I feel like it it will be too hard now. Funny thing is, I’m only 29…

    Thanks for the encouraging words today. Continue to pick up that brush. You are actually good with it:)

    1. Lakeitha, You are never too old to go back to school. 🙂 My cousin just finished 4 years of school and came out with an RN nursing degree. She is my age… we both will be 44 this year. You can do it!! 🙂 Just go for it!

    2. Never too old for school- I got my Bachelors in Nursing at age 33 (with 3 kids in tow) and my MBA at age 48! Start with one class and see how that feels and looks to you! You can do it 🙂

  3. I think your painting is beautiful! I LOVE this post! I’ve have just started picking up the brush too. I’ve been wanting to try painting, but feeling like I had to be a professional, I was always nervous about it, but you have to start somewhere. I finally bought a canvas… found an inspiration scene and just started painting and it was so much FUN! I’ve been thinking that everyone should run out and buy a canvas.

  4. This is wonderful!!! I am glad you decided to pick up your brush! The only thing I have painted, aside of walls LOL, are the little plaster ornaments at Michael’s at Christmastime. I have so many of those that I have painted over the last 20 years. My “brush” is my scrapbooking. I bought a few supplies number of years ago and decided I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t “creative”. Well, going through purging things about a year later, I decided to give it an honest try. I am still scrapbooking today. Back then it was strictly with Creative Memories products. Now, it is everything but CM’s products. Archiver’s is a dangerous store for me. 😉 I don’t know that I am that good, especially by the industry’s standards. My work has never been published. My pages are simple. I am not into doing the fussy pages with a ton of product. Honestly, those I really can’t do. It is not my style. I am ok with that. It’s not about that for me. It’s about the memories. Through scrapbooking over the years, my photography has greatly improved as well.

    Keep painting Laura! You are good at it!!! 🙂

  5. Wow Laura…amazing! I have been “picking up my brush” a little lately, realizing we are all artists who have the ability to paint our own life picture. Kudos to you for not only this painting, but also the life picture you have been working on, both are beautiful!

  6. I have started painting classes 2 times a week. I just started working on a “real” not tole canvas of an Irish Setter…believe it or not, it actually looks like the inspiration piece. Of course my instructor Linda has helped tweek it, but it is amaizing. Next I am doing an English Setter…both are to hang in our ” mud/dog room”…where 2 Irish Setters and 2 English Setters have their crates when they are not running the house. You can DO anything you want, the secret is to TRY.

  7. Wow, that is beautiful! I would buy it. Congratulations on motivating yourself and not letting fear get in the way. You have inspired me. My brush is sewing and I have a small table that needs refinishing. It’s so hard to get started but so worth it. Keep going….Blessings!

  8. Amazing! You did a fabulous job; I am impressed. Believe it or not, painting is also the thing I want to do and am afraid to try. I kinda-sorta want to sign up for a painting class, but haven’t been brave enough to do it yet!

  9. I think your painting is wonderful! You are clearly meant to paint. You should keep doing it! The thing I was always scared to admit was that I wanted to be a designer and writer and merge the two. I finally started blogging and trying to get it out a little… and it feels good!

  10. It’s fabulous! I have lots of “brushes”! I used to paint and was into photography, love to write and design. Blogging combines the best of all worlds!

    I tossed all my paintings because I thought they were horrible (and they were). Wish I would have kept them – if only for a good laugh!

  11. Your painting is really nice. The only paintbrush I’ll be picking up though is one for the walls! 🙂

  12. It looks good Laura!

    I LOVE painting I’m not a realist at all (I think because I’m not good enough) but can paint soft soothing pictures. I think the last real painting I did was 11 years ago right before my first child was born. It’s so hard to paint with little babies in the house. (you kind of have to be in the “zone”) so now, my youngest enters KG this coming year and I think I just might start up painting again 🙂 Maybe

  13. Very nice and good for you! Funny I was in the shower the other day wishing I was a person who gets up early and eats small healthy meals and I thought what the hec is stopping me, that is doable so many people wish they could do things that are next to impossible and mine was just a difference in my plans and attitude, as most things are! I also recently did that mixed media art and it was the same way for me, I am always painting in my head and finally sat dow and played and I LOVED it, it fed my soul with what it really yearns for, a very spiritual experience.

  14. Laura,
    My out of comfort moment was painting a set of tables for the sunroom. My wife and I had two small loveseats for the sunroom (off Family room). We didn’t want to spend much on 2 end tables and coffee table. We found the 3 piece set for 80% off, but too dark finished wood. I dreaded painting them but took the plunge. Painted they are so pretty and light. They help make the room.

  15. First of all I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing. I have had difficulty clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Thanks!

  16. Well, I must say that you hit it out of the park on your first painting…You did a beautiful job…!! I am so glad that you followed your heart and picked up that brush…and look what you did..an amazing painting…”It all starts with one stroke”….

  17. Ah, Laura, I am proud of you for “picking up your brush!” I think you did a splendid job. Thank you for providing inspiration and encouragement to those of us who aren’t there yet, but have it in the back of our minds.

    You are already aware that I am currently in graduate school. I have one more year to go. I also homeschool my two sons. To say my plate is full is an understatement.

    But there has been something eating away at me….it started small and has grown louder the longer I live on the East Coast. I relocated here from the Southwest, an area that moved me to appreciate the beauty in nature, and inspired creative ways of thinking and doing. I miss it terribly, and feel that the only way I can silence the growing roar building up inside, is to find a way to tap into a creative outlet that I may have taken for granted when creativity surrounded and nurtured me.

    I entertain thoughts of taking a pottery class, a watercolor class, a stained glass class…a digital photography class. But I can’t do it right now. I have to finish school, because I am responding to a call to be a social worker. And I will most likely go to seminary after that, because I am discerning a call to become a deacon, using that social work education to serve others. But: One day…I, too, will pick up my brush.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  18. Such an inspiring post! I think we tend to forget that each great thing started with a first step. You did a wonderful job on your painting. (You definitely have a knack for it.)

  19. Good for you! This is exactly how I started 2 years ago. I always wanted to paint, but I never picked up that brush for fear that my painting would not be good enough… I finally did it…picked up the brushes, squirted the paints, and I am now selling my work for several hundreds of dollars. It still boggles my mind that people like what I do… and I am only getting better with practice!

  20. I’m coming late to the party so to speak (!) but I wanted to thank you for this post. I am in the same boat you were in…that is exactly what I want to do, paint a CANVAS, a real picture…not walls, not furniture. But I feel so blocked. Fear of failure looms large. Your post is very inspiring (and your painting is LOVELY!). I’m going to do it…yes, I am. I hope my finished product turns out as nice as yours did!

  21. Its an amazing feeling isn’t it…..? When you finally do it. For years I had on my LIST OF THINGS TO DO BEFORE I DIE, create a painting that I would actually hang up in my home. Well I did it, and now I’ve even sold some paintings. The urge to try could no longer be suppressed when my daughter went to art school. And my hubby encouraged me too.

    Keep it up, you have an eye for composition and color. Your painting is wonderful!