Facing my fears…

Sneak peek at the underpainting for "Art After Dark" with Millie Donovan.

Dear Tina & friends~

Sometimes you have to practice what you preach. I am always reminding my students of the importance of stretching themselves to try something new. After all, what is the worst that can happen? You make a mistake? You learn something? You paint over what you didn’t like? For a long time I was very fearful of making mistakes and think that came from being in private school as a young girl and being told “you can only have one piece of paper, so be careful not to make a mistake.” To this day I am careful with my paper and rarely waste anything, but that doesn’t keep me from trying or using my materials. I just now know I can paint or collage on top of anything that doesn’t suit me.

I have taught both small and large groups but when I paint I feel most comfortable when I am alone or with a trusted friend, so I can relate to how my students feel in a group. Painting has a lot to do with trust. You need to trust your ability, your ideas, the materials, but most importantly yourself, allowing for guidance in the stillness of the work.  This doesn’t always come easily even when I am alone, so to be asked to do this in front of an audience, well, lets just say it scares the JEEBEES out of me! Tonight I will do just that. I will be brave and challenge myself to do something I never thought I would with the hope of encouraging others to be brave and stretch themselves. The bravery I am talking about is my first “LIVE” painting with the AMAZING, Millie Donovan to be auctioned off this evening at the Mystic Arts Center.

You might remember the first “Art After Dark” I attended where I met the infamous Denny Rivera. I left thd Arts Center that night and wrote, “As I watched the vivid colors emerge on his canvas I couldn’t help but think how brave and talented he was to be painting on the spot like this. I am not sure I would ever feel comfortable doing something like this and was utterly amazed watching him.” Well, TONIGHT is my night. I will be doing the thing I most fear, painting “LIVE” at the very same place.

I feel grateful for the Mystic Arts Center who promotes the arts in such an attainable way and for having such a fabulous collaborative partner in Millie. “Art After Dark” starts at 6:00pm outside on the patio with a gorgeous view of the river and an explosion of foliage. They serve pizza from The Pizza Grille, soda, and beer from Cottrell. The Crow’s Toes will be performing live and there are even heaters to keep the fall chill away. $10/per person, children under 12 free. Thank you MAC for supporting the arts in our community! This will be the perfect way to kick off the end of the season. WHOOO Hoooo!

Millie & I hope to see you there to share in our collaboration and cheer us on!

Much love,


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3 thoughts on “Facing my fears…

  1. Dear Laura,

    Bravo!!! I am so very proud that you have taken on this challenge. You push ME everyday to work with intention, to choose my work as a priority, to make time for creativity and to value my time. These have all been very difficult for me (as you know) since I have a life full of others: other people, pets, houses, volunteer projects, problems… So the only thing that I could bring to the table was my reckless ability to just JUMP! Just do it! Take risks! Enjoy the excitement of feeling the freedom of flight when you do something that is scary and you finally realize that you had nothing to be afraid of. I am having soooo much fun doing this project with you and completely understand the tenacity of your process and the seriousness and most times silliness in the studio. Thank you for taking hold of your fears and appeasing me on this one. I have a lot to learn from you!!! Next leap of faith is for me to take.

  2. Laura- This is a great post about the experience of confronting not only our fears of being artists (I believe your fears are shared by many), but also our audience. We never can know what people think of our work when we are not there. What a great venue to be up close and personal with those who are interested and support your work. Good luck to you and Millie and remember to have a lot of fun in the process! I will look forward to some pictures posted here about how it all went.

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