Passion & Painting (and being ok with tired fingers)

I started a new painting today. This happens a lot, so I don’t know why I haven’t gotten use to it by now, but that moment of starting is at once exciting, hopeful, and daunting.

I have a hard time working out ( I blame the kids + schedule, but it’s totally just me) but I often think that starting a painting is like starting a race. You’ve signed up for it. All eyes are on you. But what if you freak out half way through and it’s super embarrassing? Or what if you get confused and take the path that goes to the woods when the person commissioning the painting wanted you to go to the beach?   But the love of the race is enough to make you start. It get’s me every time. …and I do love, love, love this race.

Today’s painting is teal (as many of my paintings are) so I washed the canvas in shades of green and blue and cream, spoiling the perfect minimalistic white canvas that had been there. I keep making marks, shaping and forming clouds and land and, honestly, it keeps looking worse and worse.

But I press on. Fighting. Loving. It’s nearly a game: my hands vs. my ideas.


By the end of the day this painting will be completed and it will be up on my mantle (where all the paintings go when they are “done”) and then I’ll get that sweet feeling of pride and accomplishment that makes the race totally with it.

It’s on a good course. But at this moment, while is sits on my easel, flaunting it’s flaws and unfinished spaces, it needs more love, more fight, more passion.

I love that phrase “follow your passion” so much these days. When you’re in the thick of it; excited, tired, drained, and yet loving every moment, it is passion that strengthens you. It is not some illusive idea or an ethereal feeling. Passion is love, heart, grit, and determination.   If you are passionate about something, you are willing to suffer for it. Long hours, sore fingers, hours of thought, sacrifice… totally par for the course.

Sometimes it’s less about what you do and more about how you do it. Loving what you do or what you create, having that passion and fire within, spills over into how you do it.

Quality comes of love.

This post was originally written for the beautiful blog Sarah In Pursuit  which you should totally check out because Sarah is lovely and so is her blog!
Until next time!

Emily Jeffords signiture

Emily Jeffords

Most days you can find me, in the studio with my little girls, speckled in oil paint (drinking too much coffee), creating artwork for collectors around the world and collaborating with select brands. Check out my artwork on


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