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Don't Let Fear Limit Your Art Practice or Your Life

Full Disclosure: I am not a landscape painter but.....

But……   I entered a watercolor landscape painting in the Vail Valley Annual Art Show at Colorado Mountain College.  I stood and looked at it, thinking… why did I enter this?  I am not a landscape painter.  Yes, Yes I know what you are thinking, “Not a Landscape Painter??You live in (arguably) the most beautiful place in the world?  What is wrong with you?” Punctuated by, if you follow me on Instagram @julieadriansenartist, “Didn’t she paint toilet paper in Spain??”  “Yikes!”  Anyway…. I teach Watercolor at Colorado Mountain College, on Tuesday evenings, as I walked into the college before class, I would visit my Landscape and I started to have a hopeful feeling about it.  Then it happened!  COLORADO MOUNTAIN COLLEGE PURCHASED MY LANDSCAPE FOR THEIR PERMANENT COLLECTION!!!!!  I cried when my clay artist buddy Willow (@wabisabimud) told me the news.

Sooooo…. This leads me to my blog post for the New Year:  Don't Let Fear Limit Your Art Practice or Your Life. What could it be if you put yourself out there and TRIED?

It was a busy year, that 2023.  And all at the same time, it seems like 2023 happened 10 years ago. I took my vision board down and created my new one for 2024. I achieved all but 2 of the items on my board. I feel good about it, as my goals are lofty and I juggle lots.  I feel like I try really hard to create the life I want.  But is that limiting?  Is the life I want being put in a box labeled “Reality and Achievable”? Hmmmmm, that is a tough one.  Let’s face it, we are products of what we have been taught (other people’s experience), and what we know (our experience).  Our Reality and what we Think is Possible may, indeed, be limited.  Scary stuff right there. How do we start thinking Bigger? How do we Stretch our Thinking?


I spent a little quality time with Rasa DiSalvo this week.  Follow Rasa at @rasa.disalvo on Instagram.  She gave him some things to think about. She is gangster cool.


What could happen if you put yourself out there and tried?  I don’t mean saying your are trying.  I am saying telling FEAR to “pound sand” and trying in a real way.


In this blog, I am talking about my “fear of landscape painting” and how that relates to my life and my goals.


As an artist, there is real fear in some aspects of our practice.  For me, landscapes are too much! Too much information, too big, too green. Ugh!  Because I teach watercolor, I need to come to a happy place with painting everything including landscapes.  This forced me to up my landscape game.  I did the research, I connected with landscape artists that I really like and I put my brush to paper… over and over. 

This led to that piece I told you about earlier.  Then, I thought….. Well, I may as well submit my piece to the CMC show.  I was worried… scared, really.  Showing your work is a big deal.  Not that it is an International Show, but, it is a public forum and that makes it open to criticism.  SCARY.  Thankfully, I did it! I DID IT and that piece sold.  Now, forever, students and people can enjoy it whenever they come into CMC.  This makes me feel so happy, I can't tell you. For me, this journey is about spreading love and happiness and using my art to do so.


Do I consider myself a landscape painter?  Far From It.  But I am a step further than I was before the show.  I broke that ceiling I created for myself.  The fact that the work sold, is the BIG cherry on top.



Question: What could happen if I put myself out there and tried?

Answer: You could just knock FEAR to the ground, step over it and live your dream.

Lesson learned:  I am not my fear. I am me.  This artist's journey is meant to be shared and lived.  Art is meant to make the world MORE.  LIFE IS MEANT TO BE MORE. If I had never framed that mountain and those trees and drove them to the college, all this would have never happened.  This blog wouldn't have happened.  And, I wouldn't have shared the story of a landscape painted by a non-landscape painter that with be shared forever.  

That is a win-win-win.

I encourage you to show your work.  Paint it, frame it and hang it on a wall for the world to see. Start small if you need to. Take baby steps if that works better for you. A step is a step forward.

I also encourage you to live your dreams.  Identify that dream, make a plan, put it out into the world and share it for all the world to see. A leap or a baby step. They both go in the same direction, Toward your dream. Tomorrow is coming, your next birthday is coming. The next decade is coming. Are you going be where you want to be or, closer to that destination? Or are you going to be wishing you were? It is your decision. It is your life. It is your dream. I know I will be here rooting for you!

Art Imitates Life and thank goodness it does.

Until next time, 



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