I’m feeling fairly pessimistic about my ability to paint these days. I know, it’s a journey… if it were easy everyone would do it… you have come so far so fast… you are so much better than my friend’s cousin’s dog’s roommate’s nephew… other platitudes. Save it.

My mind keeps saying you’re not good enough. You started too late in life. You don’t know how to draw. You don’t know who the masters are. You don’t understand color theory or perspective or anatomy or gesture or toneorvalueoremotionorformorweightormassorbalanceorfengshuiorwatercontentorshadingorblendingorgradedwashesorlinesoredgesorlostandfoundorconstructionorrelativescaleoranythingatallyoushouldjustquitnow.

When I started blogging about my progress, I was hoping to document proof that you don’t need talent if you just try hard enough. I was (perhaps not so secretly) hoping to find that I was being modest—I actually have a lot of talent, and I won’t have to try so hard. Unfortunately, I have found that any talent I have is moderate at best. Any progress I have made is just the byproduct of effort and repetition. I’m feeling very down right now. And sure, I’m lingering on bemoaning my insecurities. But in this Instagram world today, where I am bombarded by meticulously staged snapshots of contrived and effortless success, I will be the fat sweaty gym rat grunting my way through another half mile on the treadmill, dreaming of Cheetos.

So, here’s me… on the treadmill.