Black and White and Breaking the Comfortzone

Hello there, my friends and strangers and everyone in between.
You might be aware of how most of the stuff I make is all pretty bright and colorful. This is because I’m a bit of a coward. Once I find a style or medium that suits me, I have a hard time letting go of it. It’s so safe and comfortable to stick with the same old ways. Not taking risks is the best way to make sure nothing goes wrong.
But, deep down I know that if I want to improve, I need to expand my views, and I need to make a lot of mistakes in order to learn from them. I don’t do this enough. And I’m actually not talking about painting anymore.
I don’t know when it happened. When I became so scared of everything. I used to be the kind of person who took a spontaneous trip to Spain without any money, and lived in a hammock in the hills of Malaga for a few days. I dared to move out from my dad’s when I was 16, and to a different country when I was 19. I could go to parties and hook up with strangers. I could go out on the street and start playing guitar, even though I really sucked at it(and earned very little on it). So I don’t know when or why my comfortzone has shrunk so drastically. I’m today this timid person who almost faints by the thought of going into town, or doing something loudly in public, or writing a post on facebook. Just putting my art out on the internet is sometimes so scary I think about shutting it all down, get a dayjob and forget about trying to be an artist. Just yesterday I really wanted to go to this gathering, but stayed home because there would be three people there that I don’t know. As I said, that’s no way to improve, and I really regret not going. But I will have more chances to challenge this weird anxiety of mine, and I will take them. Sooner or later I might be able to be loud and stupid again. But for now, it’s all one small step at a time. And nothing has given me confidence as improving my art has, and I think that’s a good place to start expanding.

So here’s a little attempt to get out of my bright and colorful comfort-zone:

SvartvitSagostund.jpg
This is the very first painting I’ve made in black and white.
Actually, I do a lot of black and white stuff, it’s just that when I do, it’s line-drawings in only ink. This is the first watercolor painting in which I’ve been using different values.
I have mixed feelings about it. I actually like it a lot, it’s just a bit strange to me that it’s so dark and there’s no colors.
I think my next try will be a brighter one, but still black and white. I have a feeling it will be a lot harder.
How about you guys? What’s your relationship to your comfortzone?  Do you stay inside it, or are you trying to expand it? Maybe you’ve broken out of it completely, or are you, just like me, trapped inside a very small one?
I’d love to know. There aren’t that many of you reading, but I happen to know that you are all very different, and come from very different places, so it would be very interesting to hear if you have some ideas about this.

Have a nice day!

Embla

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