Teaching myself to paint with gouache has been a series of near wins and a lot of misses. I attempted this because I’m traveling in a few weeks and I want to paint at locations I’ll visit. Using gouache has practical advantages over oil paint that I’ve used for years. Gouache is easier to transport, … Continue reading Creating is a Process
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
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
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?
6×6″ oil on wood panel. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed creativity implied freedom of action. Poets were thought to be creative, because they brought to life new worlds. Artists were not considered creative, because they copied what they saw—imitated, in other words—and didn’t create anything new. So it remained, with little real change, until roughly the … Continue reading Creativity: What is It?
“Hope” 8×6″ oil on linen panel. Updated January 10, 2018. Last year began well, but health problems surfaced in April that caused me to put painting and many other things on the back burner for the rest of the year. I’m just now starting to engage in many things I had to set aside during those … Continue reading It’s a New Year
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
Red Onion study on 8 x 6 inch linen panel. This little study happened because I needed to get my daily practice done and it was already dark outside. Instead of looking for an interesting tree to paint, I looked through the cupboard and found a lovely red onion and a faded green dish rag. … Continue reading Peeling Away the Layers with Practice
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
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
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 …