Saturday, April 30, 2016

Don't give up

Over the last year I have fell in love with painting.  The medium that once caused fear to course through my veins has become my go to form of artistic expression.  Don't get me wrong, I still have the fear and find my inner critic to be so brutal at times.  I truly understand why people give up, and believe me when I say, I wanted to give up a thousand times over.  It's not easy to move forward when our inner voice is screaming, "NO", "You aren't good enough", "You can't do this", or "Ha!  You think this is talent?"  Like I said, the inner critic is brutal, but again, let's be honest, sometimes those standing outside of us are just as brutal.  Another brutal truth, sometimes these are the people that say they love us.  So far, I have been pretty blessed in my life, and the people around me have been encouraging and supported my art, as well as my desire for a creative life.  I'm so grateful for this, because it was during the darkest hours and most brutal attacks by my inner critic, that their support, love, and encouragement kept me moving forward and stepping into the arena.

This past year, I have put my brave girl pants on and stepped into the arena, which at times has been really hard.  I've stood in front of the canvas even when the worst critic inside my head reminded me that I wasn't talented enough.  I stood there, staring at an intimidating white panel, anticipating what was going to come from within me and flow onto the canvas.  All the while, wondering if I had it in me to create or if I was contributing anything to the world.  It's crazy how brutal we are to ourselves.

If I'm being honest, there are many times that I wonder if I'm creating anything different, relevant, or if my talent will be recognized.  And in the those dark moments of self-doubt and comparison, I also remind myself, "Toni just show up.  Paint.  Create. Be brave."  The satisfaction that follows I can't place into words or begin to describe on this blog entry, but I can say every moment of agony expressed in self-doubt has turned into pure joy, because I showed up and did the work.  The hardest part is stepping into the arena and then doing it, but the result that follows is totally worth it.

Sometimes my thoughts drift and I question if I am doing enough to live a creative life and I wonder if my efforts are a futile attempt at being an artist.  It is in these moments an angel sent from the universe comes along, and gently reminds me that each day I show up, I'm doing the work.  By showing up for myself and creating despite the inner critic screaming at me, I'm moving forward and living a creative life.  Even in the most intense emotional moments, I'm glad I keep showing up.  Fear is left behind and from this bravery and courage, I have found myself as an artist and my love for painting.  All the thoughts that I wasn't good enough or didn't have the talent to paint are left behind and what comes out onto the canvas has been amazing....

thanks for reading and I hope today you are able to do something that feeds your soul despite the fear it causes.  Many blessings to you and yours....


My paintings and other forms of art can be found online in my etsy shop.  Here's the link:   

It is also my pleasure to complete custom orders.  I can be reached by email at or by phone at 336-608-8637

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