Creativity in everyday life — Essentialism View #3

Ways to focus on your art

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

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.

I hope this helps you .

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Doris

Creativity in everyday life — Deciding if you are an artist

Decide then act like an artist.

Artist or not an artist? That is the question.

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.

www.dorischarest.ca

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?

For more information about Gladwell, go to:

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 :

New Study Destroys Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule
The 10,000 Hour Rule – closely associated with pop psych writer Malcolm Gladwell – may not be much of a rule at all…www.businessinsider.com

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 hope this helps you .

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Creativity in everyday life — 4 Things great artists do differently

Four pieces of advice

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

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.

  1. 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.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Sunflower-in-the-wind-Mixed-media-on-paper-9-x-12-in--1024x784.jpg
www.dorischarest.ca

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_2544-sm.jpg

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.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest: Udemy.com

I hope this helps you .

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

https://www.udemy.com/user/edit-profile/

https://www.skillshare.com/user/dorischarest

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Creativity in everyday life — 5 tips for an artist to succeed

Success tips for any artist

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

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.

www.dorischarest.ca

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.

Having exhibited her work for over six decades, she spanned several generations of abstract painters while continuing to produce vital and ever-changing new work. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Frankenthaler

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 air landscape 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

I hope this helps you .

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest check out her website and Udemy.com

5 tips for success as an artist
www.dorischarest.ca

Creativity in everyday life — 3 Mistakes Artists Make

Mistakes you can avoid

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

Being an artist is challenging. We are people and people make mistakes but here are three mistakes you can avoid with just a little bit of planning. You want your art career to move along in a positive direction.

1. You don’t record the work you do. When showing your work, you want to make sure that you know what painting went to which gallery. Not all galleries are honest. Some ‘forget’ your work and pocket the money. I have had that happen to me and if I had not documented my work, I would not have been able to prove that I had brought the work to that gallery.

There are thefts in galleries too. They and you need to know what you placed in that particular show. I do two things. I have an inventory list of the work I am handing over to the show. I work hard at having a photo of the work included in that inventory list. This means that you need to be prepared AHEAD of time.

You cannot be painting until the last minute. I also take a photo of the work once it is up in the gallery. This is proof that it was in the show and it is also a record of the show. There are times when you will be asked for photos of the work on site. You will be prepared and already have the photos this way.

c

2. You don’t update your artistic resume. I struggle with this mistake. Sometimes, I am so busy that I forget to update the resume. Forget some shows and you insult the gallery because they are not on your list. Get the dates wrong and other galleries will think you invented the show. All kinds of unkind theories will surface.

Other problems occur when you don’t update regularly. I end up with mistakes on my resume because I rushed at the last minute to add the latest show. Once I even forgot to capitalize the gallery name. This is thoroughly unprofessional. Your goal should be to be a professional artist with up to date information and a well-honed resume that is ready upon demand.

3. You don’t create a series. Working in a series is a great asset to your career. You decide on a theme and then work on that theme for a minimum of ten to twelve paintings. This is not only a good way to work out your ideas but it is also a good way to improve on what you do create. I find that the first painting in a series is just the ‘bud’ of the idea.

As I create more in the series, the idea expands and grows. By the 12thpainting, my idea has matured, changed and blossomed. The paintings get better and better. Occasionally, there is a ‘needy’ one that doesn’t make the cut but generally, I find the concepts get better and so does the work.

If you show your new work to a gallery or show It on your website, the presentation of a dozen works creates a better impression than one or two works with a promise of more. From the professional viewpoint, you are a solid artist with work behind you. You are a serious artist.

c

People that create only a couple of paintings in a series is viewed as amateur. That being said, there are some of my ideas that never made it past two paintings. By the end of the second painting, I was bored and did not want to continue.

You keep these paintings in the back. I found that the idea stalled because I did not think it out enough before starting or I just had fun with the materials. Once I had mastered the material, I had learned what I needed to learn.

These paintings go in the back as paintings that are part of my learning curve. Not all work needs to be shown. You can consider these works for private clients or charitable donations but not as part of a show.

I hope this helps you .

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Creativity in everyday life — 5 Tips for Better Abstract Paintings

Improve your abstracts

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

Abtract painting is hard. People are often surprised how hard it is to create a great abstract painting. You can maximize your chances of creating great paintings by following your these steps;

1. Plan and plan so more. Decide what materials you will use, what size the final product will be and what style you will use. Abstract painters, I find, love to work on large canvases. I am one of those artists and because the canvas can cost several hundred dollars to actually buy the canvas and supplies to create this work, planning is essential to endure success and to make the whole experience affordable.

The next step is deciding what style you will use. Will you pour paint? Will you work using pointillism? Will you use only a big 6 inch (15 cm) brush? Will the work be detailed or have large areas of bold colours that are brushed on?

Will you use acrylics? Oils? Collage? Decide on your materials. Buy what you need to buy for the project. For the moment, put it all in the corner and get to your desk to plan the next step.

2. Choose your colours before you start. Your main goal should be to limit the amount of colours you use. Simplicity is best. Ten colours in a painting, all competing with each other, can be overwhelming to the viewer. Three main colours with small amounts of other colours is easier on the viewer.

3. Value sketches. This is essential. If you are not sure what a value sketch is, check out my youtube video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6WMWmPBYWQ&t=0s&list=PLPUZqAc8UwZILqfVxiRjoyYIfqYOgoFjF&index=9

4. Do a practice run on paper. This is where you decide where the colours go. Is the red for the background? Is gold an accent?

One important detail is that your practice paper should be the same shape as the final canvas. There is no sense in practicing on a different shape. When you work on a paper of the same shape, you can work out proportions of where the lines or colours go.

5. Chances are that you will want to make some changes to your practice run. Re-evaluate your practice run. Feel free to do more than one practice run. Work out the basic shapes until you are happy. When you are happy with the basic shapes, you are ready to work bigger.

A great way to ‘sketch’ the basic shapes in on your larger canvas is to use a watercolour pencil. A blue or a yellow are nice and pale. You can block in where the shapes go, paint then take a wet cloth and wipe the pencil line away. This is a wonderfully easy way to ensure that you have a guide when you start painting.

I hope this helps you .

www.dorischarest.ca

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …