I am a contemporary mixed media landscape artist located in St. Albert.I love the vistas that show how vast and varied our landscape is. Capturing memories of nature in a way that a camera cannot, my paintings invite you to explore the subject; quietly discovering what is really there. Each painting is a story waiting to happen. The viewer quietly discovers what is really at the heart of each piece. Within this space I reveal a part of myself and I hope to establish a soul connection with everyone who explores my work. Water-based media, ink and collage provide the means for the interplay between chance and control I most enjoy. If my artwork causes others to look at nature with more attention, I have achieved my goal.
Mixed media has become my ‘go-to medium’ because it allows me to experiment. People get mixed media and multimedia mixed up….
“Mixed media” tends to refer to a work of visual art that combines various traditionally distinct visual art media — for example, a work on canvas that combines paint, ink, and collage could properly be called a “mixed media” work, but not a work of “multimediaart.
“I love trying ‘what will happen if…’ with different art mediums. In another life, I must have been a scientist. I just love mixing and matching to see what will happen. In my current practice, I mix collage, acrylic, watercolour and graphite. Different combinations lead to different results.
The texture of the graphite appeals to me while the soft subtle tones of watercolour blend nicely with the black and white but I get the ‘punch’ with the acrylic. I add collage for texture too.
Because I have chosen landscape as a topic, all these elements fit right in. I get land-type texture from the graphite. I get soft subtle colours for the water with watercolour and the drama with the collage and acrylic.
When I worked other themes, I loved these elements for the same reason. I worked on a theme of dreams with figures for a few years. I could get the best dramatic effects by combining mediums.
I often tell my students that if you are not happy with your painting when doing mixed media, you just keep painting and collaging. The worst thing that can happen is that your canvas will get heavy and you will need a bigger nail to hang it up. You need not stop if your painting is not working. You need not throw it out. Often an under layer adds to the painting. You can see subtle effects peeping through that you would not have if you had a white background. Having a varied underpainting is an asset.
My favourite mixed media artists include:Kate Borcherding, Christina McPhee and Anne Bagby. I love Anne Bagby’s rich textured work but I also love the expressiveness of McPhee’s and Borcherding’s work. My goal is to combine the expressiveness with the texture.
I wish I was one of these artists but this is just another reason for me to practice my social media skills as well as my mixed media skills. No matter what style you pick, the marketing and social media jobs need doing too. Groan! Like most artists, I like creating more than marketing. Well, nice visiting with you but I must get going on my social media tasks.
I readily agreed to a 30 day challenge thinking it was going to be easy to do. We were to create small, 8 x 8 in. drawings or paintings and post them once a day. How hard could that be? I would do this first thing in the morning as a warm-up. The goal of this exercise was to experiment.
As it turned out, this is a harder exercise to do than I thought. The first few days were easy enough. I worked through ideas I had been wanting to try. I normally work in an abstract or semi-abstract manner but something happened in the last few months. What was coming out was landscape. The work was abstract-ish but definitely landscape. I surprised myself because I had not worked in a ‘realistic’ manner for years. Why was this coming out?
Landscape was a subject matter that I had touched on and off for years but always just as one tiny element in a larger more abstract format. Every time that I went back to my ‘old’ style, I created a mess so I decided to go with the flow and work this element out of my system. Maybe I could incorporate some of these realistic elements in my abstracts. This challenge would do the trick for me.
The goal became a blending of two loves. I would combine abstract and landscape; abstract landscape. I hate roller coasters and this seemed like one. My landscapes turning abstract. Sounded good at the time and a possibility.
So I started. I started with graphite powder. These happened when I sprinkled the powder on the paper then hosed it down. What was left was an abstract background where I often looked for hidden imagery in the marks. Landscape seemed to come out most of the time. Now I wanted looser, bolder results. Could I do this? I added bits of collage with mixed results. Perseverance is the key, I knew. Make a lot of work and the work would evolve. I kept going. I added watercolour in some then acrylic in others. I splashed paint and I rubbed out the graphite.
I kept telling myself that it was only paper. These bits of paper were just that, bits of paper. One of my past instructors had told us once that ‘Nothing is precious’. You can always redo the work. At the time, I did not believe him. This work was so ‘magical’ to me. Every time that an artist reaches a new level of achievement, he or she hangs on to these new ‘greater’ works for fear of not being able to do it again. The fear goes away. Your work continues to grow. Slowly, you let those first works go. You even realize that they are not that great…anymore. You have moved to a newer level. You have gotten better.
I kept repeating my advice in my head and slowly, I made progress. I added elements that I had not done before and the result was occasionally pleasing to my eye. I made small micro elements of progress towards my goal. Days passed and the pile of paintings grew.
The thirtieth day arrived. I stopped. Looking at the pile, I decided that I would leave the paintings alone for a few days then look at the work more objectively. I kept worrying about my progress or lack of progress. I worked on other projects and time went by. Two weeks later, I looked. Laying out all the work on a large table, I examined the end result. I saw a bit of collage here and acrylic there. This part was good and that part certainly wasn’t. I made a list of the good parts that I liked then picked out my favorite paintings. I put away the others.
Looking at just the work that I considered successful, I made a plan of what I could do with future work. This is what I discovered:
I kept only about 20% of my exercises from the 30 days.
I was pleasantly surprised that I had made progress towards my goal of combining the abstract and landscape themes.
The work took a turn that I had not expected. This is not a negative. The result pleased me.
Working consistently changed me and my work. I gained confidence in my overall plan. My work surprised me.
I find that ordinary (non-artists) people see the world differently. They do not perceive what is around them with their eyes or senses as much as artists. Artistic types see the world in greater detail and with eyes that notice more. Here are three differences between artists and the rest of the world.
1. The world is a visual feast. We see details others do not. For example, I was walking with my husband along this stone wall of an Inca fortress that went for at least half a kilometer with a tour group. The wall was beautifully made. Each stone was perfectly chiseled and put into place next to another stone. The wall did not seem to have any errors in it. It leaned at a 5 degree angle, we were told to prevent erosion and the weakening of the wall. Once in a while there was one stone that was a darker red color. The placement of the red stone seemed to be intentional. That was interesting. In the crevasses of the rocks, will plants grew. There were delicate ferns, tiny plants that looked like ground cover with white flowers and one plant that was blooming with a tiny red flower that looked like an orchid. As I took pictures of these, I got further behind the group. When I caught up, the guide thought that I was lagging behind because I was not fit enough. He said we would have to pick up the pace. I explained that I was taking photos and told him all that I had noticed. I asked about the orchid. He gazed at me and said no one had ever asked him and he didn’t know. He didn’t know about the red rock either. He had been a guide for 8 years.
I am a visual artist so I perceive more with my eyes. I have noticed that musicians hear more information than I do. They make connections between sounds that I have to work really hard to even notice. I have noticed the same with writers and words. We feast in the sights or sounds we notice. The non-artists are missing out….
2. Wearing bright colors makes you happy. The psychology of color says that colour influences perceptions that are not obvious, such as the taste of food. Colour can indeed influence a person; however, it is important to remember that these effects differ between people.Color has long been used to create feelings of coziness or spaciousness. However, how people are affected by different color stimuli varies from person to person.
Blue is the top choice for 35% of Americans, followed by green (16%), purple (10%) and red (9%).A preference for blue and green may be due to a preference for certain places to live.There is evidence that color preference may depend on ambient temperature. People who are cold prefer warm colors like red and yellow while people who are hot prefer cool colors like blue and green.Some research has concluded that women and men respectively prefer “warm” and “cool” colors.Some studies find that color can affect mood. for more information, check out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_psychology
3. Ideas come out really looking at what is in front of you. Once, I looked at some skidoo tracks in the snow and got an idea for a painting with embossed-like textures in it. The way the snow covered up the back door of a big truck gave me an idea for an abstract. Seasons were created so that there is new information for you to look at all year round. Each seasons brings out new information that needs noticing. I visited Prince Edward Island in the spring. The red soil with that beautiful spring green led me trying out that particular color combination.
There are a lot of opinions on how some artists are better than others. The question is always; Why? I came upon this talk on how artists can become better by following seven specific habits. Andrew Price, the speaker, is a digital artist that discusses how these seven points helped his career.
The talk caught my attention because, as artists, we are always looking for information about other artists and how they create their work. Most artists work in isolation and this is a way of connecting to other artists. This article is a review of the talk:7 habits of highly effective artists : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM39qhXle4g1.5 million views -Andrew Price, artist, digital
1.Put in time every single day- smallest amount of work possible from the point of view of a young artist.
I agree. You cannot be an artist unless you create art. Showing up to your studio is a must. Wether your studio space is in the corner of the den or outside your house, you need to go there every day you can. Do the bare minimum and you will soon find that you stay a little longer to finish what you started and soon it is an hour or two later. The time has flown by and you didn’t even notice.
2. Volume not perfection- a lot of work leads to closing the gap ie Picasso 1800 paintings 1200 sculptures, 12,00 drawings an even more prints, rugs, tapestries, ceramics -learn most from first 90%. I have had instructors that said the same thing. Get out there and learn how to be fast. In the quantity, you will develop skills and refinement that will make you good. There is a note of caution there, however. You still need to work with some care and focus on what you are creating. You will only get better if you choose to get better with every work. Don’t just copy the last painting. Try to add something new and better with every painting but do it quickly.
3. Steal. He said that if you steal ideas from one artist then that is plagarism but if you steal from many artists, you are blending ideas and that is acceptable. Steal from many so people can’t tell. Price says: find your idols; and steal from them. He quotes Steve Jobs and Banksky as being master ‘stealers’. He said to read the book: Steal like an artist by Austin Kleon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steal_Like_an_Artist. This is a great book. He highlights many of the issues artists face, uses a lot of humour and has good ideas too.
4. Conscious learning; this is learning with a purpose. When you sit down to work, don’t just idly work. Work with a goal of doing certain skills better. He says that Malcolm Gladwell’s theory in his book Outliers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers) that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill is not true- what you need to do is work with a purpose/consciously — learning as you practice, then you get better faster.
This is a lesson that I have learned too. When I work on a project, I eliminate as many distractions as I can. I shut off my cell phone; I work in a studio that has no internet; I even put up a sign on my door to say that I don’t want to be interrupted and I put on music that suits the project — usually music that I won’t sing along with or start following the beat. The trick is to find what works for you. I have a friend that puts on classical music while another puts on country music. This is music that relaxes them and allows the creative juices to flow.
5. Rest. Price insists that you need to stop work after a certain point on a project and do something different. You need to put it aside and go back to it later. Leave it alone for a while and you will feel detached so you can work on it objectively again.
This advice is particularly pertinent when you are stuck on a project. Some paintings paint themselves but many do not. When you cannot solve the problem of ‘what is wrong’, it is a good idea to put your work in spot where you won’t see it for a while. You will see it with fresh eyes when you look at it again and usually, the problem is easy to solve.
6. Get feedback. All good artists seek feedback, Price tells us. He quotes Pixar as saying that making sure artists get feedback is their secret success. Listening to criticism and acting on it is the key to success.
Most artists seek critiques. The key to giving criticism is to keep it short. Be careful of the words you use. Select only a few points that stand out. Verbalize these points in positive manner. Never start with a negative. When you are recieving criticism select two key points that stand out for you and note those down. You can put the ten other points on ‘stand-by’. Chances are that those two points will change your painting so much, it will be a totally different painting, leaving those extra suggestions null and void.
7. Create what you love because motivation is a big factor. Price quotes Brian Eno, a musician, as working only on music he wanted to hear and this was the secret to his success. Andrew Price, himself, found that he did girl figures because that is what he loved doing. Tried drawing men and did not like it so he did not do well. He says that when he worked on men, they were terrible.
We are all like this. We do what we love well because it comes easily. We notice more details, we are willing to spend more time on what we like and we treat our favourite topics with more love and care. I love landscape but treat it in a more abstract manner. When I have to work on more realistic topics, I have to really ‘make’ myself pay attention to the work. I feel like running away or doing my regular work.
Here is an article that supports this theory and adds more: 12 Habits of Highly Effective Artists, From Creative Exercise to Living in Airplane Mode by Rachel Corbett. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/artist-work-habits-1052036. She adds even more ideas that can help you. Basically, she says the same things as Price but adds that you have be able to work in all kinds of conditions and you should get used to it. Artists have to be resilient and work despite the conditions. You will never get the perfect environment or feel ‘perfect’ every morning so just get out there and do your art!
Artist get a lot of bad publicity. Living as an artist takes a lot perseverance and drive. You need to do a lot of work by yourself. Delegating work is difficult since you are the creator and owner of the business. Here are some basic truths about being an artist. If you think that what I list below is something you can do and are willing to do, then you will have a head start as an artist. Go through each point carefully and find ways you can overcome the obstacles in your artistic practice.
If you are a realistic painter or an abstract artist, the struggles are the same. These points are the unavoidable points that you need to master as an artist.
1. Success is not based on skill. You can be a wonderful painter, for example, and the best portraitist in the whole country but you will not succeed if no one knows about you. You need to get out there and show your work so people know how good you are. Really good publicists in the artworld were Dali, Georgia O’Keefe, Chris Cran and Picasso.
2. Marketing is not easy. There are many ways you can market your work. Do your homework for your particular niche and find the best way to show your work. An artist that really worked their niche is Yayoi Kusama. She is a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation, but is also active in painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts. For more information about her go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yayoi_Kusama
3. Create! You will not succeed if you do not create work. Get to that studio and build your collection of artwork. You need to do work that you can show. No work-no shows. The more prolific artists are everywhere. Picasso and Monet were well known for the quantity of work they produced. One current artist to look at is: Kara Walker. She is an American contemporary painter, silhouettist, print-maker, installation artist, and film-maker who explores race, gender, sexuality, violence, and identityin her work. She is best known for her room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes. For more information, go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kara_Walker
4. Fellow artists are both your biggest promoter and your biggest competition. This is a fine balance. My fellow artists have sent people to my art shows because those buyers were interested in my style. At the same time, I have had other artists say negative things about my work in hopes that the buyers not look at my work. What can I say? Choose your friends carefully.
5. Taking the time to practice your skill without the pressure of sales is essential. You need to take time to just work at perfecting your skills. Not all works should be put up for sale. Most artists need ‘down’ time. One podcast that I listen to is ‘Savvy Painter’. https://savvypainter.club/join-savvy-painter-waitlist/. She interviews different artists from all walks of life. Regularly, the artists say that they take time to work on pieces that are not related to their current series. They continue to explore and find new ways to hone their craft. If you like podcasts, here is an article on other podcasts on art: https://www.artistsnetwork.com/artist-life/12-art-podcasts-inspiration/
6. You will need to learn social media skills. Most artists prefer being in the studio and ignore other skills. This is one skill you cannot avoid. You need to learn Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and whatever new media that applies to art. Use them. One online class that helped me was by Alun Hill. You can find out more about him and his classes at: https://www.tetmo.com/p/how-to-use-pinterest-to-make-money. He has sales regularly so wait for one of his sales. He explains social media really well.
7. Earned income is irregular. You will have months where you make a lot and other months where not a dime comes in. You need to save for those lean months. Keep account books and a balanced budget. There are hundreds of advice columns on this topic but it all boils down to keeping your costs down and not overspending. Find a local accountant that specializes in small businesses and ask him/her for help. They are often generous with their time, in my experience.
Artist block. Why it happens and ideas about what to do when it happens. 3 ways to help yourself when getting artist block.
Artist block happens to everyone. Here are 3 tips to help you stay sane with artist block. The first time and to be honest, every time, I panic. Will I never get any good ideas again?
What are the signs or artist block? You sit at your easel or drawing board and you cannot find a single thing to paint or sketch. You draw or paint without thinking or worst, feeling the joy of putting different elements together.
You paint the same thing over and over again without changing anything or making it better. You sit there and cannot move. You feel a mini depression coming on because nothing is going well. Whatever you paint is coming out muddy or just plain bad.
When you get artist block, you mind needs a break. It needs time to think and reflect on what you are currently doing. Quite often you are on your way to moving your art to another level. Your mind has not yet figured out how to move to the next step.
So you need to take a break. You need to stop what you are doing and do something different for a short time. This does not mean that you need to stop making art. Here are three ideas for you to try:
1. Try a new product. When visiting the art supply store, there’s always something new that the shop is very willing to show you. If something catches your eye and it won’t break the bank, try it. Add it to your current work and see if it adds anything to your practice. It may or may not.
Quite a few times, I enjoyed trying out the new product, had a lot of fun making something with it but by the time I used up the sample, I was done with the product. I had no urge to incorporate it in my repertoire. The odd time, I did and the change or extra product made my work shine. It is worth a try.
2. Visit a gallery. We get lonely in our studio and often we miss the visual stimulation of seeing other people’s artwork. Seeing new work, work painted or sculpted in a different way or seeing new color combinations is exciting for artists. After one of these art walks, I often feel happier and excited about art.
Double your joy by bringing a friend (who likes art). When you bring a friend, I find that the discussion of the artwork adds an extra bonus dimension to the process of looking at art. Your friend will also see the artwork in a different way and get you looking at the artwork differently. This doubles your intellectual stimulation.
3. Host a critique with other artists. Chances are that you are not alone in your ‘artist block’. Invite your friends to come for an afternoon of critiquing each other’s work. You may have to provide coffee, tea and a few snacks but I can assure you that the other artists will come willingly. We all have one or two paintings that we get stuck on and welcome help.
There are a couple rules to follow in order to have a pleasant experience when hosting. One is that no one is allowed to make negative comments. You are looking for solutions to the problem and that is the goal. A second is that only two comments are allowed each per painting. You don’t want to overwhelm the artist who puts up their work for critique. For more in depth advice, check out my online class on critiquing :https://www.udemy.com/course/1848512/manage/basics
Overall, you need to break up your routine. Routine is an excellent way to create product but a change of routine will jazz up your day and add a lot of new ideas or stimulation.
Essentialism for artists based on the book by Greg McKeown. Third in a series
Focus on what is important now and create a routine to enable it — this is a third take-away that I have gotten from Greg McKeown’s book on Essentialism. One way to focus on the important is to decide first tand foremost what you want.
Do you want to finish your current project?
Do you want to join a board?
Do you want to volunteer some time a the local shelter?
Do you want to spend more time with your family?
Do you want to have more time to learn to play the flute?
Do you want to travel?
Do you want to spend more time with your aging parents?
Make the longest list you can of all the things you want to do. Fill multiple pages if you want to. There is no limit.
Pick the top three items ONLY. Under each category write down three things you need to do to achieve this goal.
Make a second list of five items to do after you finished the first three.
All the other items go in storage for later.
Prioritizing is a main proponent of Essentialism. You have now prioritized. You have three items to work on.
One of the things I like about McKeown’s book is that he says you need courage to follow your goals. This is true. First you need the courage to pick then the courage to follow your love of art. If you do not follow your own loves, others will fill your time and you will never get to your art. Making athe decision is the hardest. Your family will get needy and your friends will suddenly really need you.
You will need to be firm. You need to say that you will do art from x time to y time. Nothing will deter you. Then, after that time, they will have your time. Complaints will arise and whining will happen but it will stop. And, you will get your art time.
Routine is the key to achieving any amount of work according to this book. You create a routine, you will get work done every time. Even if the routine is only a half an hour a day, you are half an hour closer to your goal. Make a point of showing up to your work space and work will get done.
When you have a routine, your brain kicks in that it is time to work on YOUR work. And, it does. Creativity and great ideas come with a routine. Do not answer emails, facebook or even phone calls.
When I first started working in my studio space, there was no telephone line, no internet, no access by visitors to the doors to our studio. The studio space was uniquely ours. We went there and we were guaranteed to not be disturbed. I loved it. I did not have many hours in a day but I could work solely on what I wanted during that time.
Over several years, my studio space expanded to include many artists. We now have cell phones and internet. The space, to me, is still a haven for quiet. I shut my cell phone off, I deny my opportunities to surf the net and I close my door to visitors still. I have more hours in theory but I find that the greater socialization that is happening because the group has grown leaves me with the same small amount of hours.
I work as much as I can with singular purpose. I value my time by myself where I am uninterrupted. With the practice that I have with focussing on a task because I don’t have a large amount of time, I can get a lot done.
I agree with McKeown. Focusing is important and it is possible to achieve results by showing up. Overall, I have to recommend this book: Essentialism by Greg McKeown.
Deciding if you are an artist is a difficult choice. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you like creating new items (paintings, sculpture, designs, printmaking, etc…)?
Do you create without any prompting? Without taking a class or someone else asking you to do this activity?
Do you sometimes daydream ideas while waiting for a friend, at the doctor’s office, while sitting there with your best friend or boyfriend who is watching hockey or some show you can’t quite relate to?
Do you move around the vegetables you are chopping for supper so that the colours look good together?
Do friends or family check with you when deciding how to put together some patterns or colours in their outfit or home?
Do you get told you dress in a unique style? or some other comment that is similar?
Do you love going to galleries or fabric stores just because you like the colours or patterns?
If you answer yes to a lot of these questions, you have the potential to be an artist. The focus word is potential. Not everyone wants to become an artist but if you do, there are still a few steps to take to get there. Talent helps but there are still ways to become an artist with only a bit of talent.
My firm belief is that if you want to do something, it counts more than talent. The desire to put in the hours is essential. There is an author and psychologist that says it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. The 10,000 hour rule — first proposed by a Swedish psychologist and later made famous in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers — states that exceptional expertise requires at least 10,000 hours of practice. Are you willing to put in those kind of hours?
Gladwell says that deliberate practice is essential to learning any skill. When psychologists talk about deliberate practice, they mean practicing in a way that pushes your skill set as much as possible. Like all popular theories, there are people that jump to find ways of disputing the theories. Check out this article :
Regardless of the criticism, practice makes perfect. There is a need to perfect your skills before you can actually say that you are an expert at a x skill. Are you willing to put in the hours?
People tend to think that artists are born and not made. This is a falsehood that continues to endure. Sure, you may have a tendency to pick up artistic skills easily on the surface but I have found that those surface skills are just that ‘surface’. It is almost like beginners luck. You have a natural skill just like some sportsy types have. Do you want to continue learning that skill? To deeply understand what you are doing, practice and development of skills is needed.
Do you really like the whole process and are you willing to put in the hours? Do you love creating? Do you love the ‘magic’ of creating something out of nothing? What is it you love the most? Are you willing to put in the hours needed? If you say yes to this, you have the makings of an artist.
Life as an artist is not easy. Keep that in mind before you say yes. Personally, I said yes before realizing that a career as an artist was harder than a career as a doctor. As a doctor, you have the benefits of being paid well and a certain amount of status. An artistic career does not guarantee this.
People will not realize the skill you need to be an artist. You need to be independent and say you love it regardless. Do I regret an artistic career? No but I wish someone had told me what I was facing. I might have prepared myself better. I still love art after years of working in it. There is a joy there that I have found rarely elsewhere. In fact, raising my children is the only other place I found this ‘joy’.
There are a few factors to keep in mind. Keep in mind that not everyone that plays piano will become Władziu Valentino Liberace or not everyone that plays a sport will become a million dollar player/earner. You may or may not become a famous/well known artist/internationally known artist in the process but you may become the local ‘go-to artist’. Is that good enough for you? You will be able to make a living but you will not be able to own your own plane on an artist income. Can you accept this?
The best advice that I can give is that you should find your ‘niche’. Find a spot you excel at and become an expert. Become the ‘go-to person’ in your area. No matter, if you love art, you will drawn to it and keep going back to it whenever you can. You will be drawn to artistic endeavours over and over again until you get the hint and make it your career. This is a prediction….
I came across some points that are bound to help any artist. If you are just starting out or have been working at art a while, these are great points to ponder.
Focus on a special subject. Choose something that you can do for a long time. This doesn’t mean that you cannot do anything else. It means that you show your specialty but once in while, you work on a second subject. That topic is your ‘relaxing’ moment. You may or may not show later when you are more adept at it or have enough for a series. Again, the choice is yours. You can have it as a fun moment or a series that you are working towards in the future.
One artist I know solved her dual interests by showing her flowers in one city and her figures in a different city far from the first city. Overall, you do need to become an expert in one area. Make your speciality stronger by saying no to anything not in your line. An artist that did this well is Robert Bateman. He worked on animals with a mostly abstract background most of his career.
2. Step away when you are stumped, the answer will come. Go for a walk. All artists get blocked once in a while. Each artist needs to develop their own rituals that will help them break out of their slump. Many artists, including Claude Monet, Andy Goldsworthy and Robert Bateman choose nature as their way to relax when they are stumped. They spent and spend long periods of time outdoors. Other artists go dancing, go swimming or go to concerts. Find the element that helps you and go for it!
3. Be consistent in one element related to your topic or style. Let’s say that you work with the same three colors all the time but after a while, you are totally done with those colors. Don’t drop all three colors. Drop one and add ONE different one. Your audience will notice the change but the colors will still be typically yours. If you still want to change it up, get your audience used to your one new color then and only then change a second color.
An artist that has done this well is Kandinsky. Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting one of the first recognized purely abstract works. For more information about him, go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassily_Kandinsky
4. Adapt your subject when you tire of it. If you painted trees for years but now you need a change, look at something related to trees. Maybe you will do only foliage or the trunk of the tree with what is at its base as the seasons change.
Make a gradual change towards something different. An artist that did this well is Mondrian. Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, after 1906 Piet Mondrian, was a Dutch painter and theoretician who is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. He painted his abstractions with a few colours at first then gradually changed colours and linear elements.
Success with art depends on you and your ability to let people know that you are there and willing to sell your artwork. Otherwise, they will think that your art making is only a hobby. In the beginning of your career, it may have been a hobby but now you are ready to transition into a proffessional. Here are some tips that may help.
1. Focus on a special subject. Choose something that you can do for a long time. I love mixed media landscapes and have yet to run out of ideas. If you love portraits, concentrate mostly on portraits. Do what you love.
One artist that did this really well is John Hamilton “Jack” Bush (20 March 1909–24 January 1977). He worked on his abstracts for years. His style varied little. He just loved the painting process and he was dedicated to Abstract Expressionism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Busha
2. Work with similar colours over and over again. Learn what those colors in a variety of combinations will do together. Once you have mastered those colours, then move on to different ones.
One artist that did this really well is Mark Rothko, born Markus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz. He was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. He worked the ideas of colour vibration and what happens when one colour is next to another colour. Simplicity was his mantra.
3. Start with only one color plus black and white. Once you have done everything there is to do with those three, add one more or change to a different color plus black and white. Master your craft in small increments and you will always do well.
One artist that did this really well is Tony Onley. Toni Onley OC was noted for his landscapes and abstract works. Born in Douglas on the Isle of Man, he moved to Canada in 1948, and lived in Brantford, Ontario. Among his works are many watercolours depicting the northern Canadian landscape. He simplified his colour palette and kept painting the most beautiful landscapes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toni_Onley
4. Go for the ‘big’ idea. Work on one basic idea and make it work really well. Make your work a jaw dropping moment. One artist that did this really well is Helen Frankenthaler. She was an American abstract expressionist painter. She was a major contributor to the history of postwar American painting.
5. Once you have an idea, don’t overly perfect it. Just do it. You need to enjoy the process not plan every miniscule detail before starting. There nothing wrong with planning. I encourage that but you need to allow the possibility that ‘happy accidents’ might happen for the better.
One artist that did this really well is Oscar-Claude Monet. He was a French painter, a founder of French Impressionist painting and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement’s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein airlandscape painting. Monet’s ambition of documenting the French countryside led him to adopt a method of painting the same scene many times in order to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons.
From 1883, Monet lived in Giverny, where he purchased a house and property and began a vast landscaping project which included lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works. In 1899, he began painting the water lilies, first in vertical views with a Japanese bridge as a central feature and later in the series of large-scale paintings that was to occupy him continuously for the next 20 years of his life. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Monet