Tag Archives | creativity

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Watercolor: Rooster Comb, and Plotting the Map for your Creative Journey

Rooster Comb 16 x 12 Watercolor (available here) Is there a Beginner Artist Map? If you think about basic requirements on the path leading towards how to be an artist, the list is a long, meandering one. And everyone has an opinion about what should come first on that list. The maze every creative person navigates to acquire confidence and competence in their chosen field can be overwhelming. The first time I said out loud to an established artist: “I want to explore returning to painting, and eventually making art my livelihood. Where should I start?” She shook her head, and said “You’re …[Continue reading]

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Drypoint Engraving: Asleep in Rome (& You’re absolutely a Creative)

You’re a Creative Person too I just had a chat with my neighbor about creativity. I talk about being creative a lot at art festivals and social mixers.  When someone asks what I do, and I say “I’m an artist.”, my new acquaintance usually turns wistful, and replies: “Oh, it must be so wonderful to be creative. I wish I was a creative person, but I can barely draw a stick figure.”  Why does art get the pinnacle position under the heading Creative? Isn’t it creative to be a gardener, or a cook, or a quilter? Isn’t it creative to raise a family? What about people with …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor: You Can See the Stars from Here (& creating before consuming)

Creative Personality Traits A daily schedule with habitual, obligatory segments is something I associate with grade school, corporate offices and cats. But even still, I crave a creative routine. As an artist, my internal compass is calibrated towards distraction and mental-wanderings. I have Super-Hero-Skills in the fine art of Not-Finishing. (Here’s a great article about why we don’t finish things, and strategies for fixing that.)  My random pirouetting through life bewilders my engineer-husband.  My uninformed-but-ardently-thought-about theory is that perhaps artists need some routine to bracket all the meandering, so we don’t trip and fall off the planet. Little mazes of structure in each day are like protective sand-bag berms around floods of creative twirling. The Danger …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor: Amber Candle, Kitchen Counter and Should you Start an Art Blog?

Why You Should Start an Art Blog If you’ve wondered about starting an art blog, and backed away from the idea frantically waving the bold lettered banner “I have nothing to say” or “I hate to write” – consider this: I used to hate writing, until I started to write about ART. And I used to think I had nothing to say, but my friends reminded me that – in person – I talk all-the-time. (Hand rubbing chin, thinking…  Hmmm, Oh yeahhh… I’m talky!) I had only focused on the knocking-knees and chattering-teeth fear associated with the obligation of writing regularly, and the intimidation of posting my work online …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor: Adventurous Heart (& inspiration from George Clausen)

I had a conversation with a friend about looking at other artists’ work – especially artists who are farther along on the path, and much better we are. Some painters are crippled by those sorts of self-induced comparisons.  I’ve never felt stymied from looking at another artist’s amazingly realized creations. Great art fuels my creative engine. My studio art library is full of gifts; courage, inspiration, ideas and reminders to be patient – every book on the artists of history is full of instruction. I love to read about other artist’s stories, and the obstacles they climbed over. You rarely hear of an artist in history …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor: First Sip (& seasonal cycles in creativity)

Its tea-drinking season, even over here in sunny coastal California.  Fall is a nostalgic time bracket for me – loaded with reflection of the-year-so-far, anniversaries of still-heart-prickley loss & grief (read this poignant and thought-compelling essay about letting go of objects connected to lost loved-ones), and acutely visual reminders of time passing.  Nightfall comes sooner, but time slows in winter, despite the shorter days, and the sunlight is particularly crisp & so bright, you can’t help but squint.  My urge to paint is always strong in the Fall. (Read this short essay by Austin Kleon about the seasons of creativity.) Certain plants flower here only in November, and …[Continue reading]

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Linocut: Stag (& breaking through Creative Block)

I’m back in the studio after the Thousand Oaks Arts Festival, and work is full-speed underway on the next group of watercolors and printmaking for upcoming shows. If you’re in Southern California, save these dates to come visit: October 15: Opening at Flower Pepper Gallery in Pasadena, CA Oct 15 & 16: Beverly Hills Art Show Oct 22: Pasadena Artwalk Oct 23 Farm to Table Fundraising Exhibit at the LA Arboretum I’ve been posting little studio snippets of video and images of art in process on Instagram, so if you’re in there too, come follow me (@bdelpesco) and I’ll follow you back, so we can …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor: Laptop Nightlight (& encouragement to finish your art)

I love art featuring readers. I have a pinterest board of inspiring paintings of people and their books, and our descendants collecting imagery of this subject will likely include paintings and drawings of people curled around laptops, balancing nooks & ipads on their laps, and sitting contentedly under headphones. I finished listening to the audio book The Greater Journey by David McCullough while painting this little night time watercolor of a reader (above), and started The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. I’m painting street scenes from Provence, so the book’s very french flavor fits the art in process. 🙂 For this week’s #linklove post, I’m featuring Mr …[Continue reading]

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Woodcut: Sunset Sail (& the Folly Cove Designers)

Do you and I share an interest in all things handmade? The net is rich with thought-provoking articles about WHY we love hand-made, so that tells you lots of other folks are thinking and talking about it too. I’m grateful for the flourish of community and friendships with like-minded artisans, crafters and DIY aficionados online, all accessible through our phones via ever-changing & rapidly advancing technology. 🙂 As both a consumer and a maker, I love the search for and adoration of other maker’s creations; it’s a whole forest of inspiration. Swells of interest in arts & crafts repeat through time in cycles, going back to Medieval days.  Creative communities are often regional, …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor: Tin Barn Near Adalaida (& a video: how is paper made?)

This watercolor landscape was painted after a trip to see my step dad in Central California. I love the shape of the land up there; curvy golden hillsides, forged smooth with time, and made soft & textured with grasses and shrubs. The fleshy horizon line along parts of the California highways remind me of reclined, slumbering figures. A couple of blog readers sent notes this summer asking about the difference between my studio newsletter and subscribing to this blog, and why aren’t they one and the same? Each time new art is finished in my studio, a blog post is published here, so if I’m painting and printing a lot …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor Portrait: Something to Say (& a Ken Auster video)

I started this watercolor portrait over a year ago in my previous studio. Then I packed and moved, and forgot about it till I cleaned and purged the clutter in my current studio last week. (How many unfinished art projects do you have stuffed into cupboards and drawers and shelves?) Part of the clean up last week involved mounting a foam-insulation panel (leftover from my daughter’s quilt wall design project) on one of my studio walls to tack art-in-process up, so I can work while standing, and step back to squint & check values, etc. I have a beautiful easel for that, but the …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor: First Day in Italy (& #linklove on staying focused)

I’m still working on the nocturnal watercolor on yupo I mentioned in the last post, so stay tuned (or subscribe) for that coming soon…. In the meantime, I feel compelled to share a humorous, smart, thought-provoking essay on Why Procrastinators Procrastinate. Are you in the Staller Club too? Do you wait till the eleventh hour to complete tasks with deadlines? Do you put off painting – even when you relish every little part of the art-making process – until AFTER you’ve emptied the dishwasher, folded all the laundry and completed errands to the post office, grocery store and dry cleaner? And by the time …[Continue reading]

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Floral Watercolor Still Life – and why we paint what we paint

Surfing the internet entices surreptitious visits to other artists’ studios. The subject of each artists’ work varies; we’ve all seen magnificently executed art featuring everything from a bucket of fish heads to an artfully arranged pile of tangled nude figures. Why an artist choses to paint or draw a particular subject is their secret, but I presume (I know, that’s a dangerous practice) that what we find enticing to render in the studio has something to do with our personal histories. This is my grandmother Margery and one of her dogs (I think this was Gigi, or maybe Buttons, but it was before my time). My maternal …[Continue reading]

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Pastel: Spin (fixing failed watercolors with pastel)

This art began it’s life as a watercolor. When I was almost finished, I knew it was overcooked. You know what I mean right? That moment when all your shimmering, artsy hope and sparkly excitement for What-Could-Be goes dark? Yeah, that one.   I tossed the unfinished waif on a shelf, and there it sat, shivering & waiting to be shredded. Later, I was testing pastels over a small, expired watercolor to try to resuscitate it, and I remembered this sad ferris wheel watercolor. I wondered like a wizard over a cauldron if I tossed in some arbitrary color, and maybe a pinch of crazy mark-making, could I save this larger watercolor?  I …[Continue reading]