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What could you do if you set fear aside?

What could you do if you set fear aside?

Starting with the premise that I'm a self taught artist, I have a confession.

I had a long held fear of painting in a large scale. 
large scale peony painting by Bari J. For one thing, I was afraid I couldn't get the proportions correct large, and for another, I knew I'd have to use the grid method to draw out my design. The grid method is simply drawing a grid on the original photo of what you want to paint and scaling the grid on the canvas. And I'd got it in my head that was "cheating". As if there's cheating in art. I don't know why my brain made that up, but nonetheless, there I was with this silly belief.

Last week I'd finally had it with my fear.

I picked a photo of a flower to paint, put it in photoshop and cropped to the smaller proportionate dimensions of my canvas which was 48"x32". Next I drew a 1" grid on the photo. I then used a 4" grid on the canvas (1" on screen = 4" on canvas), and got started drawing out the flower.

Here's what I didn't realize:

Using the grid method helped me learn how to scale my art. I'm not there yet, but I could feel the change take hold of me once I saw the size of the first petal come to life. I'm confident that with time and practice, I'll be able to give up the grids and just draw because eventually the synapses in my brain will connect and I'll learn. Just like anything else we learn.

This painting is the result of me finally setting aside fear.

This brings me to a central question: what can we do if we name and let go of our fears? What else am I holding back on doing because I made up a story in my head about it? What about you? What fear is holding you back? How can you cancel that story and tell yourself a new one?

Large scale peony painting in Bari J. bedroom


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