Daily Bravery

"Most of all, though, he asked his students to be brave. Without bravery, he instructed, they would never be able to realize the vaulting scope of their own capacities. Without bravery, they would never know the world as richly as it longs to be known. Without bravery, their lives would remain small—far smaller than they probably wanted their lives to be." — excerpt from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I started to read this book a year ago. I wasn't ready for it then. Yesterday I started it all over again and the words spoke to me deeply. It got me thinking about my light, my capacities, why I create and how well I know myself and the world around me. Sometimes I feel painting or creating art is shallow or selfish, but when I read this I knew I was wrong. That painting, for me, is how I come to life, how I enrich the world, how I realize my capacities, how I work through thoughts, and emotions. And lately I haven't painted as much, mostly blaming it on lack of time. Realistically, painting with acrylics can be timely because of prepping, mixing and clean up. So I eliminated those excuses and painted with ink. Just two paint brushes, a small cup of ink, 4 pastels and paper. That's it. No more procrastination or excuses. From this point forward I'm committing to being brave and refusing to remain small and within my own limitations. Today I commit to creating one painting a day and sharing it with you. And even further, each painting I do will be offered to you. Because no more excuses and because I'm worth it and because my light makes this world a brighter place.

If you're interested in purchasing one of these paintings, please email me or go to Instagram to purchase immediately. 

If you'd like to join me for the daily bravery challenge, see my introduction post for details on how to get started. To view my work and all artist's work who are currently participating in the #dailybraverypaintings challenge, go here. 

I've had a few artists share their experience with participating in the #dailybraverypaintings and here's what they had to say: 

I thought it impossible for myself to be an artist. I was kind of a clumsy kid with an aversion to arts and crafts. It just wasn’t in the cards for me, until I turned sixteen and a family friend came over, looked at my bedroom and saw my walls covered floor to ceiling in book pages, notes and drawings. He said, “You would make a great artist.” That friend, Drew Melton, is an incredible artist and the owner of Closer&Closer Co. His passing comment gave me a new curiosity for the arts. That year in school I signed up for as many art classes as I could and was lucky to have a consistent art teacher that believed in me, so much so that she would enter my pieces in competitions behind my back. Then, as the time to look at colleges approached, so many people felt the need to tell me how impossible it was to make money as an artist. My parent’s friends, teachers, other artists, my friends. They believed it, so I soon believed it. Because of that belief my art stayed hidden away for the next six years. I often gave people original pieces as gifts, or hand made birthday cards, and I saw the power of art in that through people’s elation. The power of the hand-made. The past six years have been busy and full of every schedually-demanding thing other than making art. It wasn’t until a few months ago, when I cut out two of my jobs, that I had time again (and less money than ever) to pick up my paintbrushes. It felt silly, but it also felt so comfortable, so easy, like visiting an old friend. Honestly, what pushed me was the Daily Bravery hashtag. I thought, “I can do one painting today.” Then I continued to just do one painting per day. Then two, sometimes three or four. And I guess that’s what makes me an artist...again. Its the daily production through my hands, the willingness to take the time, the celebration of others’ creations. It’ the best way to live.
— Lauren Bruhn (@ellbeedesign)
Yesterday I posted my first painting with a price tag (thanks to your encouragement). I have been trying to paint more regularly when I have time (i.e. during naptime) and had started posting what I was making. Then this week I came across your #dailybraverypaintings and your Instagram through another artist who posted about it and I thought what do I have to lose?! My biggest fear was that no one would buy it and everyone would see that no one wanted it. So anyways I just wanted to say thanks for the encouragement to step out and be brave!
— Emily Martin (@thelilyandsparrow)
Just want to say thank you again sooooo much for the push and encouragement to list a price with a painting. I did it today with one of mine and it was just claimed by a new follower. It really means a lot to know another artist has my back in putting a price out there.
— Liat Noten (@liatnoten)
Just a quick message of thanks to you tonight - after reading that post about bravery & you starting up the dailybravery hashtag,..it really made me want to put myself out “there” (wherever that is) :) more and believe in myself enough to think that art I created could be sold..and even though I’m so new to all of this ..I’ve sold two paintings this week ..and it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for your encouraging words! Thank you for sharing your thoughts & ideas/feelings.
— Kristen Eghty (@krsten.eghty)
As Meredith said: “Little did I know that sharing a painting for sale everyday would be the thing that challenged my bravery the most.” Even if I wasn’t able to offer a painting for sale everyday because I couldn’t always finish one, it was really scary to do so when one was completed. I was afraid to scare away my followers or that trying to sell directly would be seen as inappropriate or perceived as sales pressure... But I did it anyway, I didn’t loose more followers than I usually do and I sold a painting!
— Audree Marsolais (@audreemarsolais)