Lots of people freeze up when they think about speaking in public, but what about freezing up on a project or job? In a class? Are artists the only people who get blocked in the course of their work or is it a myth? While I've never been blocked making art, I did get blocked by a life experience. That word is starting to sound strange... blocked. I finally figured it out and emerging from that experience has really shifted how I manage challenges now.
Every artist has a unique journey to get to their destination. Mine included a whole bunch of speed bumps, and then coming to terms with how I was managing a difficult situation. And then waking up and deciding to move forward. In my recent journey, I started down a path I'd never considered, and it's taking me in directions I find interesting, exciting, and slightly scary.
Being selective about the shows I apply to means being attentive to making certain they's plenty of space between them to give myself time to prepare. Since I don't get into every show I apply to, I don't have to often worry about timing. But this year two opportunities came up that I wasn't able to resist - and they were both within a couple weeks of another show I was already in! It's been a whirlwind of preparation...
Every artist can speak about creative inspiration. While the list of inspirational people may be short at the beginning of a career, it's always in flux and growth. We add people who spark something, others who challenge or push us forward, others who cause a shift in a dramatically different direction. My list includes artists of all mediums (music, dance, theater, writers & poets, spiritual figures, family & friends) - however, these three rank among my top favorites.
Sometimes artists create with intention, but typically we let the Muse guide us...
When the Muse calls, I follow. I don't question and half the time I don't understand what I'm doing until much later. Having to rewrite my artist's statement recently made me reflect back on my personal history of painting, how I've evolved, and what it all means to me today. And I cracked a mystery that I've been trying to figure out for many years!
Over the years I've had a lot of folks ask me about how to find the right piece of art for their space. So from an artist's perspective, I put together a list of things to consider in your search. Hope it helps!
One of the least-fun aspects of living on the Northeast Coast is the never-ending traffic. Even in my not-so-sleepy bedroom community it gets the best of me sometimes. But one sunny day, the stress turned into inspiration, and a new line of work...
Summer is finally here after a rainy spring. What are your plans? I love to mix it up chillin' with local friends, minor road-trips, and family get-togethers. This year we're also throwing college visits into the mix. I'm looking forward to seeing some new places, making some new art, and connecting with old friends. What about you?
Red is my all-time favorite color, but my artwork is full of blues. I have a few specific blues that are my go-tos, and others that I keep on hand to use for blending. When I recently found out about a new blue being discovered, I started doing research about the evolution of the color. What a rabbit's burrow! Want to learn a little color history, a little chemistry? Come with me, then...
Society today still struggles with a selfish love affair over the arts. Everyone want the arts for free - especially on a local level. While many don't blink at spending hundreds and even thousands on season tickets to theaters or annual subscriptions to museums, when it comes to supporting arts programs on a local level, they balk. Why?
Exploring the parallels between art, life, and farming is opening up a new avenue of work that is layered with texture and symbolism. Delving into the culture of the Chinese family that own the farm I'm paired with, has given me an even deeper appreciation for my own immigrant farming roots.
Have you ever wondered how artists decide to title their artwork? If it isn’t obvious (ex, “Mill Pond Bridge”), is there a secret meaning behind the titles of artwork? I used to think this was a mysterious language only understood by artists, especially when I visited modern art exhibits in museums and galleries, and the titles didn’t always make sense to me. After years of making art every day, I developed a method to track my work, and so my titles became a type of code for me to remember my process.
Then I discovered an attendee at a show was embarrassed to ask me what the title of one of my pieces meant...
Artists studios are full of all kinds of fun materials. Among beautiful pigments, inks, clays, and glues there are also toxic solvents, cleaners, and resins. In addition to considering more sustainable materials, artists must consider following safety protocols to protect themselves.
When artists think about becoming more sustainable in their studios, it's easy to. get completely overwhelmed by the many different options. Once we start looking, it seems like there's room for improvement everywhere. Here are two of the fundamentals every artist needs to consider first.
When I decided to convert my studio to become more sustainable and non-toxic, I thought it was going to be as easy as a few web searches and changing suppliers. Hah! Not at all. Here's where my journey started...
Do you donate to charities or non-profits? If so, do you prefer small community-based charities or large, powerful national ones? Do you know which ones effectively support their cause and which ones waste the most money? Here's a summary of what I look for when considering if I want to donate...
Artists set their studios up in whatever space they have available. Sometimes they’re lucky to have a spare bedroom, finished basement, or even a separate building, like a barn. I work out of my garage.
Who doesn’t love a good road-trip? I know, I know, they’re not for everyone… some people cringe at even the thought of being in a car for long stretches of time. Especially if they live in an urban area, and long periods of time in a car equates gridlock and road rage. But sometimes the open road calls to me, and I want to explore at my own pace.
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