Trusting my creative self

This creative journey I am on can sometimes cause me to look deep into myself. I have come to realize that I don’t listen to or trust my inner voice. All the external pressures of being an artist and what everyone else thinks of my work has drowned out my own voice. But knowing this has given me new power. I have the choice to stop paying attention to the outside and start trusting my creative self.

Some of the creative exercises I have tried over the past few days include emotional painting with watercolours. With this type of painting it is not at all about the end product, but about the process of expression.

Emotive Painting – “I see you”

Letting the colours say what they want to say.

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Poems as art

As part of my art journey, I have taken to writing poetry. I have never written anything before, but I find myself drawn to this new way of expressing myself. This writing path started with me writing a poem to deal with the emotions of my father’s death last year.

Wind, why do you keep blowing?
Do you not know he is gone?
Or do you simply not care?

How can my tears start flowing
While every day things need to go on
and life is being lived everywhere?

If I had to stand still for a hoisted flag at school
Why do we not stand still now
for a man worth more than a thousand pieces of cloth?

The way you ignore the hole in me is so cruel 
Or can’t you see it somehow?
This is bigger than some small loss

Stop, Wind! Stop, World! Where is your respect?
A man of importance is not here anymore.
He is gone, my dad is dead.

Please at least take one moment to bow your head!


by Tara-lee Hollander, a grieving daughter.

Later on I started using words to find the humour in what I wanted to say.

A limerick – “be careful how you give”

My newest poem was inspired by one of the artistic tasks I had to complete for the “Artist’s Way”. I had to write down five other lives I could imagine living.

If I had five other lives to lead
what would I be, what would I need?
A nun working in a church all day
wearing long flowing robes with time to pray

An activist with a strong, worthy cause
making everyone around her think and pause
Or a ballet dancer that dances in the light
for the audience to gasp at my leaps of flight

No, maybe a doctor that works with the dying
to save families from going home crying
Or rather a great motivational speaker
that changes how people think about those that are weaker

Wait, I am a mother to my children all day
I’m already all those things I dreamed to become in some way.

by Tara-lee Hollander

Trying other forms of art really grows one as an artist. My artistic freedom feels released and fulfilled.

My Art Champion

I really did not have to think very hard to recall who my biggest creative champion was when growing up. My dad always stood behind my art journey. Being an artist himself, I cherished his opinions on my art. He encouraging words always gave me the confidence to try even harder to make the art I wanted to create.

Thank you for being there for me, dad, I miss you like crazy.

A painting I did of my dad a year before his death in 2018.

I am not creative enough

While thinking of all the old enemies of my creative self worth, I keep coming back to these damning sentences that play like a broken record in my head. “You are not creative enough. You are just a copy cat without original artistic ideas. You are not creative enough to come up with new, fresh, original art”, the art critic in my head keeps telling me.

A silly, but painful, memory that floods my mind is the time I drew a cartoon I saw in a newspaper or magazine (I must have been about 8 years old). When presenting my drawing to my family they were so excited about the drawing. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t get myself to say that it was copied from something I saw and not my own idea, that to this day I feel like a fake. The only ideas that could receive praise are all fake, copies.

But all this negative self talk must stop today – every time that old fuddy duddy witch whispers in my ear I will be drowning her out with these words of affirmation:

Creativity is the creator’s will for me.

As I create and listen, I will be led.

As I listen to my creativity I am led to my creator.

Starting “The Artist’s Way”

the artist's way

As this blog is my art journal, I have decided to write about my experiences following “The Artist’s Way”. This book was brought along my path for a reason as I encountered it a few times over the past weeks.  I am super excited about following the creativity plan as I have been looking for a way to grow my inner world.

Today I read the introduction pages as well as the two essential tools to be used in this guide. Firstly, I have to fill three pages of writing down everything that comes to mind just after I wake up. Secondly, I have to schedule an art date with myself once a week.

At this stage I feel ready for this creativity journey. I know I will have to face many tough times in this process, as fundamentally I believe that I lack in the creativity arena. The easier path I have been following the last few years is learning skills and copying what I like in other artist’s work.  But the time has come to step out into the scary world of creating my own ideas and putting them onto the canvas.

And so a new part of my journey begins…..

Still life encounters

Still life painting is by far not my favourite subject, but I felt I needed to work more from life.  What is easier than placing a few objects on a table and painting them?  I learned so much!  Lighting with a life object is completely different from the lighting in a photo. I loved the way I could step right up to the objects to look at them closely or step away from them to gain a bigger picture.

Many of the sessions I put into painting the still life paintings taught me life lessons too. I learnt that if you just get on with things, whether you like them or not, you will reach a place of joy and enjoyment.

still life 3 small

Still life 2 enhance

My latest exercise in still life painting brought me to paint a self portrait using only a mirror. Wow! It was challenging! But I am happy that I pushed myself and tried something new.

selfportrait small

Happy painting journeying to you all,

Tara-Lee