Some things take time… and that is always ok.

Some things take time… and that is always ok.

August 08, 2023


You can either let fear consume you or consciously channel it's energy and use it to your advantage.

Awake my soul original painting on canvas in interior setting


A lot of us are having a tough time at the moment right? You don't need me to go on about the cost of living crisis and the pressure we face currently. So I'm going to share a story that might just offer you a little insight into taking the pressure off yourself. 

It could also remind you about how focusing on something that is aligned rather than  giving all of your attention to a worry can help. Combined with taking inspired action and the acceptance of the slow process to go through can then result in a magical outcome. 



the beauty is in TAKING YOUR TIME

Some collectors take years to purchase a painting from me.

Sometimes it takes me half a year to create a painting….


Awake my soul large original painting on canvas in interior setting

‘Awake my soul' ~ acrylic on raw canvas, 1250 x 850mm A recent commission and my largest and longest painting to create on canvas ever.*  (*insert scary and apprehensive emoji)

Watercolour study for 'Awake your soul'


Awake your soul original painting detail

Commissions are usually wonderful projects for me to get excited about and begin but this one was different.  While I was thrilled to be commissioned to create this painting for a local Wanaka client I did experience varying obstacles and creative blocks along the way. It all started smoothly by creating a small study in pencil as well as another in watercolour on paper and having my customer very happy to sign off on the composition and colours. And thats where it all stopped. Well, actually I ordered the canvas (two in fact, incase I messed up the first) and then slowly and deliberately primed it with clear gesso. But once the canvas was ready to go it was clear that I most definitely was not. I was having a really hard time in my personal life and I just kept blocking myself by not believing or trusting in my ability to create such a big and wonderful artwork that was entirely abstract. My best abstract creations are created when I am in the absolute peak of feeling in flow and I want to give them every piece of my heart and soul. I'd only ever painted extra large watercolours on paper as commissions and even though I had created many successful works on canvas previously I didn't feel like I had mastered my abstracts on canvas. But also I wasn't feeling much within myself.


But are we ever ready?
This was something that felt too enormous and hard and I so was not ready.
I didn't want to mess up.
'Awake your soul' original painting detail



My fear of failure consumed me. I was struggling and found it easier to focus on other projects that quite simply weren't as hard. But I wasn't curled up in bed each day unable to function, it was the opposite. I had a workshop to market and plan for and ideas for a new collection were flooding my mind each day. The workshop sold out in a week and the new collection was growing quickly and so so beautifully. I was creating every day and it felt wonderful. Those projects were bringing me joy and fuelled my desire to keep going despite the personal turmoil.


Fortunately my client was very understanding and ok with my delayed timeframe. She told me she didn't need the painting for a long time as their new house hadn't started to be built. It was also very lovely and encouraging of her to say that she knew how life could get. This gave me confidence and so I knew time was on my side.


I softened to myself.

Then it became apparent…


'Awake my soul' original painting
That it was in the process of creating an entirely new and different body of work ‘the Flawed COLLECTION’ that would see me filled with a new belief and conviction in my ability to translate my watercolours from paper into a different medium on canvas and to feel at peace with the process. 
This was a pivotal moment.
I knew that I would be ready to create on canvas next.
So once again I softened to myself….
This collection was created purely from my heart while drawing inspiration from some of my own sources, out walking each day I will often gather dried branches, flowers and leaves and bring them back into my studio to stock pile for drawing later on. I would also feel called to write poems and express myself through language late at night and so the feelings transferred into words. I had always wanted to combine my love of line drawing with my abstract watercolours and then it dawned on me that I could. I didn't need permission to create a collection that wasn't your usual series of small to large paintings, they could just be glimpses of what was possible. With the small details of metallic highlighting the broken parts of the leaves and flowers the watercolour drawings all felt connected and aligned with the concept that nature doesn't view itself as broken.  The seasons show us that things are always changing and therefore we are a work in progress. The collection didn't need to be big and bold and of a whole new dimension…
But then thats exactly what I unintentionally created.
It was new and different.
A collection that was uniquely me.
A collection that would resonate like no other.
( Incase you are new here ‘the Flawed COLLECTION’ is a series of small watercolours and drawings with details of metallic ink all inspired by a poem that encourages us to see our flaws as all part of who we are and that they are not our weaknesses but rather they offer us the greatest opportunity for growth. )

The Flawed collection now available      

So I hadn't even been painting on canvas perfecting my craft, I simply had been doing what my intuition said to do, to create what made me happy and to let go of the pressure, to follow my heart and to show up for myself.


Awake my soul work in progress


Work in progress

the immensely satisfying part of creating for me is adding paint to a watery shape and watching it spread. It's a lesson in surrender every time. I can control where I put the water with my brush but I can't control how the paint will spread. I just have to wait and see.


Awake my soul original painting


‘Awake my soul' took a month to actually paint in the end but the overall creation took many months to nurture and develop. It was in the time away from working on this specific piece that I found the courage and conviction of my internal creativity to bring it to life. 


Sophie Melville artist in front of Awake my soul


I'm humbled and proud to have achieved success with this painting.


I hope this story resonates or inspires you to see the beauty in following your heart rather than forcing something when it doesn't feel aligned.
Every hard thing teaches us something about ourselves.
This painting won't be the last hard thing I experience but at least next time I'll be a little more prepared.
Or will I merely show up as best I can with the awareness of what I've overcome before?
Yes, I think I'll do that.

'Trust you know your power'

What began as the prelude for ‘Awake my soul’ became an artwork all in itself with it's own message to share.
It's now available to purchase.


See more of this painting

Trust you know your power original painting on canvas in an interior setting

‘Trust you know your power ~ acrylic on raw canvas, 500 x 350mm

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