Artist’s Mindset

Art Tips from History Practice makes perfect. The secret to success is consistency of purpose. Plan your work, and work your plan. Successful specialists have been quoted for centuries espousing the elements of frequent practice as the golden mean towards any sort of mastery. If talent is inherited, and luck is random, we have no …

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Definition of Art We’re visiting the dictionary in this post, my friend. Painting, Printmaking and Drawing are all bound to creativity and expression. One of the definitions of art is ‘the conscious use of skill and creative imagination – especially in the production of aesthetic objects‘. Art-Making Intention Let’s break that down a little… The …

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Creative Focus in Strange Times My husband asks me how I’m doing. My reply: ‘I feel like I weigh a thousand pounds.’ It’s a declaration of sadness, or fatigue. This week, it’s sadness. So, I’m pulling myself up, from the news-induced tonnage, to reach for an attainable antidote in Marc Taro Holmes’ 30×30 Direct Watercolor …

30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge, and Reaching for Quiet with Art Read More »

5 Tips for Your Artist Newsletter How often do you send a newsletter or email to your followers? If the writing segment of your art studio tasks seems insignificant, or the thought of word-smithing gives you a rash, here is a post about why it’s so important. Below are some tips to help with artist …

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Alternative Plans during a Pandemic (for Artists) We’re among thousands of artists who’s exhibit schedule went dark this Spring. What tools do you have in your marketing arsenal for artistic exposure during a Pandemic? Just like other creatives – musicians, entertainers and teachers – we can polish our presence and serve our offerings online. In …

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Learning to Draw the Human Face Draw a cluster of trees crooked, or a stack of bowls a little askew, and it’s considered charming. But sketch a portrait lopsided, and viewers may find it uncomfortable to look at. Learning how to draw the human face is a worthwhile goal, and a steep climb for some. …

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For the Love of Reading While Sheltering-In, books are a perfect antidote to fretting. A good book closes the door in the room of fragmented thoughts, and sits us firmly in a focus chair to absorb the words in front of us. Reading about art informs and builds your artist’s mental muscles too. Creative Mindset …

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7 Question to Help You Roll Past Creative Block How do you break through creative block? At different times in my life, I’ve felt so removed from creativity, I wasn’t sure I remembered how to hold a brush. Have you been there? Making a list of 7 questions helped me roll through creative block, so …

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How to Make More Art This (above) is my friend Ron, seated, exhibiting and selling his paintings at a California Art Club exhibit held at the San Juan Capistrano Mission a long time ago. Ron was a creative executive at the Walt Disney Company at the time. Even with a demanding job, and a family, …

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How to Title Landscape Art for Sale I attended an opening for an exhibit I was in at the Santa Paula Art Museum. A pair of well-heeled patrons walked purposefully towards a beautiful oil painting of trees on a hill, descending into a soft focus, green valley. One said “Is that Santa Paula Canyon!? I …

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Tools for Beginner Watercolor Artists Beginner watercolor artists need encouragement, tips and effective tools to stay with this lovely medium. Have you ever heard someone say “I tried watercolors once, and I’m terrible, so I gave up.”? Don’t be that person. Stick with it. Watercolors need to be courted for a little while before they’ll …

5 Great Tools for Beginner Watercolor Artists, and Some Tips Read More »

Getting Past Ugly in Your Art Making art often stalls in the Ugly Tunnel. On your pilgrimage to a finished watercolor, there’s a crossing in the journey where the pigments, composition and overall look of your work in process can get a bit wonky. It’s important that you avoid stopping there. It would be easy …

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Painting the Figure I’ll just come right out and say it: People are discouragingly hard to draw and paint. You can sketch a landscape or a still life with room for error; if your trees lean, or your bowl rim burps, it’s not a big deal. But if you paint the figure, and one eye …

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Artistic Affinities – and How to Sell Your Art I need to tell you a story to explain the importance of finding *your* art collectors…. Hang with me, here. The watercolor floral still life above was very influenced by my grandparent’s New England home. My Italian grandparents purchased their circa 1800’s house in the mid …

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Shades of Gray for your Watercolor Palette Here are some watercolor painting resources to help with color choices, organization and inspiration. Check out this Winsor & Newton demo video of three different grays to consider for your watercolor palette. Each of them are mixed with manganese blue and carmine for variations and tonal shift transitions …

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Jewel Watercolors from Winsor & Newton With summertime approaching in the US and Europe, painting with watercolors in the garden could be in your future. Especially with the news that Winsor & Newton has stocked their previously limited release jewel tone watercolors. I felt a need (not a want – but a need) to have …

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Charles Clark Reid (1937-2019) I was adding a recently completed watercolor to my Facebook page, when I caught this announcement on the Charles Reid Page as it scrolled into my feed: On Saturday I lost one of the most incredible people I have ever met who also happens to be my father, Charles Clark Reid. …

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Impressionable Beginner Artists Some of us like Rules. I’ve mentioned in previous posts (read this one), I suspect my love for printmaking and clanking metal presses originated in my family’s tool and die machine shop. I think we are drawn to things that imprinted on us before we had comprehension that we were so malleable. …

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Artists’ Still Life Objects The cast iron birdbath curio in this petite watercolor has been rendered in enough still life paintings and printmaking projects that I’ve lost count (see examples here, and here, and here). When studying photos of artists’ studios from long ago, I search for the objects on the shelves that might be …

Watercolor – Birds on my Counter – and Historic Still Life props Read More »

The Mystery of  Art Marketing I read your email questions asking about my enthusiasm for the upcoming course launch of Marketing Impact Academy, and why I feel the need for a business plan when I could just paint, and let the chips fall where they may. Three reasons: 1) I want to make a good …

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Art Festival Observations I got back late lastnight from the San Diego Artwalk. The California sunshine and festival atmosphere in Little Italy brought all the beautiful people out, with all of their pretty dogs. Sometimes, deliberately or not, people choose dogs that look just like them. A long legged, tanned redhead walked by with her …

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Art Links for You Here are some art links for you this week, with hopes that you’ll latch onto something that fires your urge to create, and muffles your inner critic. It’s Spring. Lets get some inspiring snapshots from around the yard, and make something soon! Solar Plate Printmaking If you live near Santa Fe, …

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Productive over Perfect Fact: Perfectionism crushes creativity.  An effective way to recover from perfectionism is to start creating. That might seem counter-intuitive, but it follows the same contrarian path towards recovery as other challenging situations. Heartbroken over the end of a relationship? Go volunteer, and give of yourself. That outward act of generosity can backfill …

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When Artists are Jealous I overheard two artists making sharp, envy-driven comments about another artist’s beautiful work at an exhibit. Jealousy is an ugly cloak. Comparisons with other artists should be a healthy exercise, since surveying other people’s work – either on social media, or at exhibits – helps us stay inspired and keen on what’s happening in …

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Who’s Cheering in Your Corner? Did you catch this blog post about how you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with? Do you have a squad of encouragers around you? Who do you call when creative block crushes your art-making mojo, or a wave of uncertainty washes over your …

Mat Board Collagraphs – and finding your Art Cheerleaders Read More »

Entering Art Shows Are you juggling family and jobs while squeezing slivers of art-making into your busy world? How often do you apply to art shows? Do you ponder the opportunities of artistic exposure and camaraderie on social media? In the melee of the artist’s mind, it can be challenging to mount the technology of …

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