It occurred to me during boxing drills the other day that it is really good practice for painting.
Boxing, like art, demands that I be present, fully engaged in what I am doing.
And I don't always know if I have what I need to do it.
With boxing I know that I don't, and won't for a long time. That's why I stay in my basement and don't seek out matches.
With painting, to a great extent I also know that I don't have what I need. My picking it up and putting it down, over and over again over the years, has left my hand rusty, my technique minimal. That is why I stay in my study, and don't seek out showings.
But with both I can trust that if I stay with it, and keep stretching myself, over time I will know what I'm doing.
That won't take away the fear. I will still have to show up, and be fully present, and ready to expose myself, and willing to take risks. And still struggle with my materials (the paint, my body) and with technique, and still keenly feel the gap between what I have in my head and what I can put forth.
But in practicing both, in honing my hand and becoming familiar with my materials, I will also be practicing standing up with fear. And so I will become familiar with that too, and able to work with it.
Sounds worth it.
Practicing being brave.