Learn from Michelle

Go Solo But Not Always

Creative Heart
This is a trick many artists don't have to be told. To be successful, practice alone more than you practice with others.
Many times, artists want to be alone to paint in private. Then, their ugly stage isn't open for the public to see. They can focus, get in the zone, and set the mood in the studio. So, rather than sitting here and preaching to the choir, I'm going to tell you about what you're supposed to do less of to be successful.
Practicing in a group can be scary, but it builds a lot of valuable skills. Art may not be a team sport, but it is something where you need an entire village to support and encourage you along your path. For Beyond the Brushes, this is where the LIVE paints come into play.
Let me tell you, there is a little streak of fear and excitement that runs through me every time I paint LIVE for my students. What if I get stuck in the ugly phase? What if I can't pull this off and they all see? Well, that is just Rufus talking, so I tell him exactly where he can take those comments and start painting.
It's different when you're painting for an audience unrehearsed, and lots of times, I don't even know what I will be painting until it's time for the LIVE. But doing this has forced me to trust myself, talk openly with my students, and paint for the fun of it rather than the perfection of the painting.
On the group paints, oh what a joy it is! Sometimes we are and sometimes we aren't working on the same painting, but we can talk, ask questions, and feed off of each other's energy and excitement.
Again, I want to stress, doing what you're doing, painting alone, that is a great way to grow. But from time to time, it is good to step out of your shell, and paint with others. It's more fun than you can imagine and catalyzes growth not only in your art but in your community.
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