The Emerald Casket

Overcoming Fear

Okay, so painting isn’t a low-crawl beneath barbed wire with live rounds zinging just above your horizontal body. It’s also not dropping down a 156-foot high zipline gripping bicycle handles into a stagnant pond—both things that I’ve done. However, painting is something I convinced myself I couldn’t do, and therefore, always feared trying it.

Then I began making jewelry and discovered I loved working with color and texture to create something unique and wearable. I began decoupaging dominoes, using mixed media techniques to make fun pieces. Slowly, I worked up the courage with those mini canvases to experiment with paint and ink.

Then, my mother talked me into taking a water color class with her. I went, thinking I was only doing it for fun, but my still life of three pears was actually pretty good. When I went home, I painted a Koi fish, and it was pretty darn good. Since then, I got busy with real job. But I was hooked. When I wasn’t painting, I was collecting books about painting. And I learned to Zentangle (see my blog below).

This past week, I babysat for a day, and rather than taking a notebook to write scene notes for my next book, I took my mini-water color kit, a couple of brushes and paper along with me. This is what I did. All very different. All experiments. I have no control over the paint when I apply water, but I kind of like that too.

Here’s my continuing love affair with fruit. The apple was nice, but kind of boring all by itself, so I flicked different colors of paint at it until I liked the result.


The fish didn’t look quite real enough or dreamy enough for me, so I decided to practice some “tangling” on top of them.


I do love pears, but this time, I went a little crazy with the tangle.



Finally, I really liked doing this piece. I like the deep blue sky behind the poppies. I’m not satisfied with the ground below, so I might wet it down again and go to work “fixing” it.



So, there’s no real message here, except try new things even if you believe you won’t be any good at them. I wasn’t even sure I’d enjoy painting, but here I am, wondering how soon I can find another day away from my desk to play with my paints. ~Delilah Devlin

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