Vincent Van Gogh is quoted as saying, “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

These paintings of our cats hang in our hallway. To me they serve as another reminder of the power of breaking through creative blocks and overcoming self-induced fears.

One day my son told me to paint the cat for him. Well, my inner-critic started listing off reasons why I could not do any such thing. It began with I can’t paint animals and then continued in its run-on-sentence way to try to convince me to abandon the idea without another thought.

The truth was I had not painted cats before, but not that I couldn’t. Luckily I recognized the critical voice of fear and pushed through. I will try, I told my son. These quirky cats are some of my favorites now and they gave me confidence to try new things in paint.

How about you? What might you create if you let yourself pick up the brush? Let those inner voices be silenced.

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