Abstract Figurative Oil Painting ‘The Voices in my Head’

abstract figurative, voices in my head, expressive artwork, oil painting

The Voices in My Head

30 x 15

Oil on canvas

What do the voices inside your head say to you?  Are they kind?  Are they encouraging?  Or are they negative?  I think everyone who tries to do something creative or important or life affirming has to battle the negative voices in their heads.  The voices that say, “You can’t…”, “You’ll never…”, “It won’t work…”, “Stop!!”, etc…

It’s not easy to overcome these discouraging liars.  And do you notice that they often drown out the positive and encouraging words you receive?  You can get a million compliments on your work, but if one person says something negative, that’s the thing that sticks with you!

When I’m dealing with the voices in my head, I try to do several things:

1.  Work.  Focusing on doing the thing that the voices are trying to get you to stop doing.

2.  Look for the truth.  Those voices are lies!  When you hear, “You can’t,” try to remind yourself of all the times you’ve heard that lie in the past and did the very thing that you thought you couldn’t do.

3.  Encourage yourself with stories of other people who have succeeded in doing the thing that you’re trying to do.  If they can do it, with all the voices in their heads, so can you!

4.  Educate yourself.  If there’s something you want to do and you think you can’t,  start researching, taking classes, reading books.  The more you learn, the more confident you’ll become, and the less power the voices will have over you.

5.   Guard yourself from people who speak negatively.  When someone is always saying, “It’s so hard to be an artist,” or “Artists never make any money,” or “You can’t make a living doing this,” I put some distance between us.  I’m aware of the challenges that accompany this profession. I need to know how to overcome those challenges, not give into them.  So surround yourself with positive, life affirming voices who will encourage your dreams.

Finally, if those voices are driving you crazy, turn the radio up and START DANCING!  That always works for me!!

If you get a chance, check out my new website: shelbymcquilkin.com  .  Not only can you purchase original artwork, but prints are also available.

4 thoughts on “Abstract Figurative Oil Painting ‘The Voices in my Head’

  1. Angelo Dundee, the famous boxing trainer of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, and countless other boxing champions, told the story about the young fighter he had prepared for months for a big fight. As the young boxer stepped into the ring, a fan yelled, “Hey, buddy, watch out for the guy’s left hook.”

    The young fighter spent the whole fight looking for a left hook from his opponent, which he did not have. The young fighter lost the match.

    Dundee spent months training and preparing the fighter, but one fan’s words erased Dundee’s efforts in seconds.

    The moral of the story: don’t pay attention to left hooks that aren’t there. Go out and swing away.

Leave a Reply