Friday, January 8, 2010

10 Tips for a Better (Painting) Life

Last year around the holidays, a good friend sent me a list entitled:  "40 tips for a Better Life," which I have since seen published with various additions and deletions as "Enjoy the Ride," "45 life lessons and 5 to grow on," "20 tips for a better New Year."
As I read over the 40 inspiring tips, I realized with a little tweaking some of the themes could easily be applied to us artists and set about drafting a version that became my 2009 New Year blog post. Heading into 2010, I took up the challenge again. Here, then, revamped are my "10 Tips for a Better (Painting) Life." 
1. Set consistent work habits and painting goals and stick to them. Start each painting session by abandoning preconceived notions and stumbling blocks.
 2.  Be true to YOUR 'art and soul.' Encourage your inner vision; listen to your private voice; let your imagination soar and don't concern yourself with what others may think of your work.
3. Take short breaks, particularly when you've hit a rough spot or are experiencing a painting block. Stand back from your canvas on occasion. Quietly review your day’s work and take it all in with a fresh eye. 
4.   Take pleasure in the painting process. Continually advance your skills.  Read instructional books, attend workshops and exhibits, frequent museums, and study the masters.
 5. Be generous with your knowledge. Whenever possible, exchange ideas, tips, techniques with other artists. (Twitter, Facebook, Fine Art Views "FAV," artist's blogs, are all great places to start).  The more you share, the more you learn, and the benefits of networking are limitless. 
 6.  Be passionate about creating your art, but do make time to nurture relationships. As in all things in life, balance is key!
 7. Clear out the clutter from your studio. It will help you hone in and focus. Reassess unfinished work. Categorize as salvageable or not. Discard or sand down any canvases that don't make the grade and start anew.
 8.   Learn from the challenges that each painting offers and move on to your next masterpiece. Keep a positive mindset and resist being over critical. Give yourself the right to make mistakes, a free rein to experiment. Remember, oil paint is forgiving, can be wiped out if wet; painted over when dry.  
 9. Bring HEART to your work. Treasure wisdom and innocence wherever you may find it
 10. Work from promise not fear... the best is yet to come!  Think of that blank canvas as an opportunity to color your world!


Bern Ross, Artist said...

Good advice Louise, I'm too busy painting and living to be blogging at the mo!
Happy New Year!

Diana said...

These are great tips. I have grown to use most of these methods consistently. The studio clutter thing is still a struggle.

Debbie said...

Thank you for sharing your inspiring tips for the new year! A good reminder of things to focus on, to renew our minds and refresh our artistic spirits!

Gary Keimig said...

great tips. #7 is my biggest downfall. I reason that I am having such a great time producing art that I don't have time to hoe out. O K Lame excuse.