A Blank Canvas

Starting something, anything can be scary and hard – training for a race, the first day at a new school or job, or even writing an art blog. We can find a million reasons why we shouldn’t do it or find a million other things to do instead of taking that first step. Fear can be a hard thing to conquer. For months, I’ve been taking pictures, writing notes, making a spreadsheet of all the ideas I want to share and working on examples for each idea. And during that time, I’ve also talked myself out of launching the site each and every day because no one will read it, I’ll run out of ideas, it’s not unique enough, blah, blah, blah. But every time I pressed pause on my plans, I’d have a serendipitous encounter that would reignite my passion and convince me that I needed to go down this path. Sometimes I’d come across a quote that perfectly fit how I was feeling. Or I’d have a conversation with someone who was also feeling stuck and needed something to help them get going and it reminded me all over again of why I wanted to start this project in the first place.

So I found it perfectly fitting that on the day I launched the blog, we received our first real snowfall of the year and the park where Murphy and I walk was completely covered in white, transforming it into a blank canvas. It literally became that blank white page that everyone is so afraid of.

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I had been going through my list of ideas and colorful photos from this summer and fall trying to decide where to start and as soon as I walked outside, I knew exactly what to do. In fact, Murphy was my inspiration. As he happily pranced across the slushy white sidewalk, he left a perfect trail of paw prints in the snow.

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And I realized it’s as easy as that – to begin, you simply need to make a mark.

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So today, grab a piece of paper, any paper. Don’t waste time trying to find the “perfect” piece. Grab an envelope from the recycling bin and a pencil or pen (whatever is closest) and just make a mark. Any mark. Scribble in a big circle with all of your might. Or doodle a tiny flower. Pick the first shape that comes to mind and sketch it across the top of your scrap piece of paper. Just draw something, anything. Then put it down and pat yourself on the back. You’ve done it! You started! Doesn’t that feel good? Don’t let go of that feeling, we’re just getting started.

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Let’s create a collection of first marks! Use #TheFoundArtWalk when you post your work on Instagram so that we can help encourage others to take that daring first step.

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