I told my parents I wanted to be an artist when I was in my early teens. My mom was silent on the subject, but my dad let me know what he thought. “You can’t earn a living as an artist,” he said. Some part of me abandoned the artist who lives inside me that … Continue reading Life is always Unfinished and Creative
I feel an uncomfortable tension when I start a new painting or when I write about my artwork and art practice. There are two main reasons for these feelings. First, the possibility of failure looms large. I’m never sure I can actually do what I want to do. And if I do succeed, then people … Continue reading Why I Create Art and Write about It
We create by giving attention to something. The quality of what we create depends on how we think. I’ll share the story behind the moment captured in the photo as an example of how what we think about comes about. Setting My Intention I play a game with myself once in awhile. It’s a game … Continue reading How We Create All of Our Experiences
It was summer and the year was 1994. I was sitting on the grass beside one of my flower gardens in my backyard and focused on deadheading wilted blossoms on a row of white petunias that stretched along the edge of the garden. For several days I’d felt frustrated, angry, depressed, and I’d avoided any … Continue reading Live in Joy!
What is your most important creative work? Answering two questions will help you identify the most important thing you can do with your time. If there is only one thing you can work on now, what would it be? If there is only one direction you can take your work in for twelve months, what … Continue reading Identify THE Most Important Thing To Do Now
Finding time to be creative may seem like a stretch when earning a living, maintaining a home and personal relationships, and sleep take up most of your day. Time to express your creative self may seem like a wishful thought: a pipe dream. And being the creator that you are will continue to feel like … Continue reading What Is Your Most Important Creative Work?
Artmaking has always had a special place in my life. My first attempt at creating public art was a crayon drawing on the bedroom wall of a grade school friend. I was never invited back to her house. In high school, I fantasized about being a fashion designer and living in Paris. I want back … Continue reading Reawakening to Creativity
This is my birthday month and I’ve decided to focus the whole month toward being happy as much of the time as I can. Why? Because I know feeling happy is a state of mind that I have control over. I can choose to be happy or not and feeling happy has benefits. A lot … Continue reading Be Happy
For several years, John has curated the work of landscape artists for a cyber art show that he shares with his audience of landscape painters on Facebook. Every week, he asks his followers a question. A recent question was: “If you had to pick just one thing that being an artist has taught you, … Continue reading Everyone is Creative
I binge watched episodes of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up on Netflix last weekend. Kondo is a small woman with a big mission. She teaches people to sort and tidy their belongings in ways that she says will bring joy into their lives. In every episode, I saw people change as they worked through Kondo’s tidying … Continue reading Konmari Changed My Relationship to Books
The moon is full today in the sign of Capricorn and reflecting the light from the sun that has been traveling through the sign of Cancer since the Summer Solstice on June 21. There are lots of stories and legends about the effects of the moon cycle, especially the full moon, on humans. Most of … Continue reading Emotions Reveal Your Focus
Magnetism is the force of attraction or repulsion. Magnetism is caused by spinning electrically-charged particles moving around, and the magnetic field of an object can create a magnetic force that attracts other objects. When two magnetic objects are close together, there is a force that attracts the poles to each other. Our human bodies generate … Continue reading Thoughts are Energy that Create Worlds
I’ve been painting roses like the one pictured here for the past three weeks as homework for a class, “Finding Inner Peace through Painting Roses” that Dennis Perrin offers online. I’ve felt many things while standing in front of my easel and working really hard to paint roses, but feeling peaceful has not been my … Continue reading From Inside the Stillness that Is a Rose
The success of any creative effort depends on your expectations and how ready you are to do what you want to do. What are your expectations for yourself? For the outcome of your effort? How prepared are you to meet your expectations? Playbook strategy There’s often a gap between where you are and where you … Continue reading Ready, Set, Go…Well, Maybe
Yes! If you feel desire (and we all do), you are a creative person. We tend to confuse “creative” and “talented,” and they do overlap, but they’re not inter-changeable. You can be talented and creative. You can also be creative and have little or limited talent, which I define as “an aptitude or skill.” The … Continue reading Are you creative?
A lunar eclipse occurred this morning (January 31) when the sun and moon were on opposite sides of earth. Our earth actually blocked the sun’s light from reaching the moon. For a brief time, the reflective moon was darkened as it passed through the earth’s shadow. A bit of trivia In ancient times, astronomers in … Continue reading Are you being urged to create something new?
An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail. ∼Edwin Land I painted in my twenties and thirties. Then I put my paint box on a shelf in the basement and went on with life. The “idea” of painting sometime in the future never left me, but as time passed, fear set in and … Continue reading What does fear of failing prevent you from doing?
I joined artist Mary Glikerson’s 5-day challenge last week, and finished five quick studies (see here) for the challenge. The challenge was to paint for a set amount of time—20 to 40 minutes—and to stop when time was up. The intention: start a daily practice. All my studies took 40 minutes, but I plan to … Continue reading Daily Practice is Fun!
A blank canvas IS uncertainty. I feel it every time I set up to paint. But the only way to move from uncertainty to less uncertainty is to try (and maybe fail). And that’s the beauty of deliberate practice—it’s intentional practice. There is no expectation to complete work, only to practice. We can work with … Continue reading Showing Up Matters Most
A man I know has spent his entire adult life becoming exceptional. He is a world-renowned astrologer and a couple of years ago he began sharing his knowledge on Facebook for free. Now in his seventies, he wants to give back to those who have supported and sustained him and his work. In one of … Continue reading Doing What Matters
Unfinished pochade study, #14 in series of 50, oil on 8 x 6-in linen panel. The artwork an artist produces is the result of long series of decisions. Choosing colors or brushes or the type of surface to paint on are among the decisions we make, but those decisions only come after many others have … Continue reading A Painting is the Sum of a Lot of Decisions
If I had only … forgotten future greatness and looked at green things and the buildings and reached out to those around me and smelled the air and ignored the forms and the self-styled obligations and heard the rain on the roof and put my arms around … …it’s not too late …it’s morning. I … Continue reading Notes to Myself
There is an underlying, indwelling creative force infusing all of life—including ourselves. ~Julia Cameron in It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again Julia would probably say I responded to a creative force when I started this blog. And she would be right. I was riding a new wave of creative energy that I had (metaphorically … Continue reading It’s Never too Late to Begin Again
I attended a workshop yesterday to learn how to prepare a business plan for my art business. What happened there was very unexpected. I thought of a completely different and exciting way to grow my business. At least, I felt excited about the idea when came to me. This morning, not 24 hours later, I’m … Continue reading Playbook Strategy # 1 for Creatives: Don’t Confuse Can’t with Won’t
Advice that’s frequently dispensed to people in creative fields goes something like this. “If you want to be successful, then develop a unique, marketable style. Know what buyers want. Then, go forth and create paintings people will like and buy.” This may actually be poor advice. People like paintings of dogs and cats and of … Continue reading What Motivates Us to Make Art?
Consider this: Does listening to music help us be creative? I arrived early at Joe Paquet’s Thursday night studio painting class to get set up for three hours of painting and critique. Joe likes to play music while we paint and on that evening, he started out with opera music. The painters around me weren’t … Continue reading Music is to Painting …
Consider this: Can anyone create art? The answer depends on who you talk to. Some people say “true art” can be created only by people who understand that art should exist only for itself and that it doesn’t need to have utility or a function. I’ve tried to imagine what such works of art might be like and … Continue reading Art Is …