Purple Tornadoes

February 24, 2014 at 9:46 PM | Posted in Artsy Fartsy, AWEsome Sights | 2 Comments
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I am what is crippling me when it comes to art. I constantly compare myself to other artists and instead of seeing it as inspiration I feel defeated. I am very good at telling my “what’s the point?” I’m lazy naturally and I like to have easily known outcomes to situations before I put myself in them. I used to be fairly decent with change as it was more forced the more we moved when I was younger. I had to accept change because it happened and I had no way out of it.
Now I’m able to avoid nasty outcomes by not doing a thing. I basically stay in the shadows. If I know someone nearby is better than me at a certain thing I will stop because clearly, the other person is better so why would anyone want what I’m creating.
Art is the hardest for me. I’ve had a self-induced block since I graduated college in 2002. The responsibility of creating is very hard to deal with. I know I am not the best but it means a lot to me to be heard, or seen, or noticed. However, I am overly fearful of anyone noticing me at all. That opens the chance of negativity. I don’t handle it well. Every negative remark, constructive criticism, or blank stare I feel as a cut to my very being. I take it all as I’m not a good enough human being to even exist.
Therefore, logically, I have found it better to not create and not open the door to pain, defeat, and unworthiness. Which of course has left out any positivity I may have gained and instead leaves me stewing on the fear of rejection.

I am trying to pull myself out of this.

It is extremely painful and wrenching.

I started slowly to get myself back into painting. I first stretched my own canvas and applied the necessary gesso. I left it alone for months. Letting it stare at me, judging me for not going through with putting a painting on it.

Then I was inspired. I watched the beautiful footage of a tornado near Rozel, Kansas that Dick McGowen ( @stormpics on Twitter) captured and was shown on S02E04 of Tornado Chasers. This beast was a thing of beauty. There were purples, pinks, and oranges and the tornado itself was pretty much perfect.

Here’s a couple of stills I captured for reference.


Just look at the patchwork of colors!


Such a perfectly shaped tornado.


What it grew into. It’s so pretty!

I decided I needed to paint it. So I finally put paint to canvas as fast as I could like I used to. It turned out crap and I hated it. But it felt good to actually paint. I enjoyed myself as I was painting. Which is a very important feeling I need to hold on to. I forget it all the time for some reason or another.  I left the painting alone for a while. It was once again sitting and judging me. Screaming it’s awfulness at me constantly. Take a look below.


Wow. Much Crap. Very Awful.

So the other day I finally decided to work on it and make it better. It has been an exercise in learning how to be okay with me. I am constantly angry with myself because I can’t get realism down. I don’t have the patience or the skills right now to do such a thing. So I deemed myself a failure as a painter. So as I was painting I was chiding myself for smoothing something out and then for the first time I answered that chiding. I said to myself, “but I like to smooth things out. Maybe that’s just my style.”

Maybe. That’s. Just. My. Style.

Guys, I actually accepted something about myself. It is astoundingly liberating allowing myself to do something. Giving myself permission to be me is a terribly difficult thing to do for some reason. It’s like I don’t feel worthy enough to have even my own acceptance. Self-doubt is very crippling.

Something is changing in me and I hope it is staying. My husband even pointed out how I’ve asked his opinion before I’ve finished the painting which I normally do not let anyone in. So I’m sharing the progress with you.


Redoing the bottom section. The oranges were fun. I’m in love with that white cloud coming in from the left.


Putting in the light purple section of the storm. Covering up the pink. Smoothing out the clouds.


Putting in the little puff clouds that are being sucked into the tornado.

Now, here it is finished. I’m quite proud of it and I’d actually be okay with constructive criticism.


We’ll see. 😉


Ta-Da! Now to think of a name………

(Yes, I know. I need better lighting in my room….also less garish curtains.)



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  1. I agree and am happy that you realized your style. Sometimes something stares us in the face for so long before we know what it is or how to call it. The first painting, the one you were unhappy with, I thought ‘bold color, color separation, Beth’s style.’ The second one, to me, is no less your style.

    My favorite part of the second one is the debris getting thrown at the contact point.

    • Thanks! With the first painting I had first intended to do false colors. But when I looked at it after I had finished my wish for realism and a comment from Rip about what was the clouds and what wasn’t made me change my mind. I’m not good at defending myself. At least this time I’m happy with the results.

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