An Artist's Fear (And An Attempt to Defeat It)


I have a hard time finishing paintings.

I wish I could say it was something whimsical and romantic like “the paintings aren’t finished telling me their stories”, or “I just can’t bear to part with this adventure in paint”.


It’s something much more tragic and sad.

With nearly every personal painting that I create, I struggle hugely to finish it. Completely out of fear. Fear that my energy and love have gone to waste. That it will fall on blind eyes, and be completely ignored. Sometimes, rarely, I fear that it will be disliked, even hated (though this is a bit extreme). I develop a deep-seated fear, a quiet one at first, that slowly develops throughout the piece. A head filled with whispers of “its not as good as you thought it would be”, or “this won’t get the attention you want”, or “it will never sell”. They get louder, until this fear becomes a deafening roar.

So then I shelf the piece.

It sits quietly, ignored, brooding. Wishing to be finished. Dreaming of sharing its story with the world.

But ignored by its creator.

Why do I have this fear? It’s a dangerous cycle of self-sabotage, something that needs attention in order to quell its loud voice.

So I’ve decided to try a new method. A “fake it until you make it” mentality, a “work fast before your mind realizes what you are doing” methodology. When that whisper turns to a roar, and the fear has me laying down the brush more than picking it up, I will push through that wall. Shove my hand through its darkness and hopefully emerge successful on the other side.

All I can do is try.

Thanks for listening, and stay magical.


P.S. Am I alone? Are you suffering alongside me? Does this story sound familiar, but as a distant memory? How did you combat and defeat that dark voice?

Want to know the materials I use to create my paintings?

Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Colour Paint -
Gamblin Artist's Oil Colors -

Mediums and other liquids
Winsor & Newton Liquin Original -
Mona Lisa Linseed Oil -
Mona Lisa Odorless Paint Thinner -
Gamblin Gamvar -
Mona Lisa Gold Leaf Size Adhesive -
Gold Leaf (Imitation) -
Gold Leaf (Genuine) -
Liquitex White Gesso -

* The above product links are affiliate links that allow me to make a small commission on each sale - every little bit helps!

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Danielle Trudeau creates paintings that walk the line between dreams and reality, infusing magic into every day life.

Wildlife often graces her canvases, brought to life with a spark of magic and oil paint.