Breaking Free Out Of My Comfort Zone

I wanted something different the other day. There was this little 8 x 8″ canvas I knew I had lying around with a painting on it that I did back in the early days of my art endeavours. I really didn’t like it (although I guess it has its place in my history), so I decided to paint over it.

2008-05(May)-I-Do1Look at the bride, she looks angry! And the poor groom, he looks a bit intimidated!

I started with a layer of gesso which felt calming and freeing. I have trouble letting go of things, so this was a small leap of faith. Going against the fear of maybe regretting it later.

Then I started working really fast. Intuitive, spraying, brayering, smearing. I even used my fingers! That’s something I never do. I went for colours I usually don’t reach for. I’m usually going for turquoise, pink, yellow. But I was splodging on the brown, cream, red and some metallics. Loving the grunge and shabbiness!

Let me tell you it was like being FREE. No expectations because I wasn’t creating something I’d created before. It was purely intuitive.

I went back to what I knew and painted a whimsy figure, but with a shabby shabby dress. It was challenging because at this point I had a clearer idea of the look I was trying to achieve, where I wanted the painting to go. So it was nice to know that I actually have the knowledge of the techniques to create these effects!


The dress was done by tearing up bits of scrapbook paper, gluing them down and then adding burnt umber with lots of glazing liquid to give a shabby and aged look. I dabbed it a lot with kitchen paper to make sure there was no smoothness from the brushstrokes. Then I finished by randomly spraying some walnut ink. I outlined the figure with a charcoal pencil and smudged it.


I added on metallic paints, smearing them around, blotting with kitchen roll. Then I took a piece of lace ribbon, sprayed it with walnut ink and tied it around the edge of the canvas. The quote I came up with myself and is to remind us that we are stronger than we think and there is a wealth of strength within us. I love the effect of using different fonts for each letter. It gives it a quirky touch and it’s fun to select the letters.

I am IN LOVE with this little painting! I’m usually pretty hard on myself when it comes to the things I’ve created, so this is very welcome. I’m welcoming the self-acceptance here!

Next time I do a painting in this shabby intuitive style I’ll take step by step pics as I’d love to show you how to create these effects. They’re pretty simple but have complex looking results.


The original painting is for sale and you can find prints of it in my Etsy shop.

Quick shout out and thank you to my awesome friend Tam who was the first person to buy this print (my first sale, yay! A first sale is a very special feeling!). Go take her courses, join her network, buy her art, be her friend, she is made of fluffy lovely awesomeness!

Related articles:

Why Do I Create Art? The simple (and slightly vague) answer is, because it fills my soul. I can't not create art. I live a full life raising two kids and running a bus...
Start To Finish – Rabbit Wants To Be A Cat &... Start To Finish is an ongoing series in which I share the progress on a painting from start to finish and I tell you what I did in each step. Please d...
Tips For Mixing Your Media I love mixed media! I'm a mixed media artist! But what does this term 'mixed media' really mean? And how do you apply it practically when making art? ...

5 thoughts on “Breaking Free Out Of My Comfort Zone”

Leave a reply - your reply will be visible after approval

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge