Woodcut: Bergamo Window (& encouragement to use time wisely)

Bergamo Window, 5 x 7 inch 2-color Reduction Woodcut w/Watercolor

Do you use time wisely? Are you making new stuff? And sharing your art¬†on social media? Are you using free segments¬†in your crammed schedule¬†to your best advantage for creativity, exposure and community-building? Or do you surf around “for inspiration”, killing time that might be better spent making something? As Tim Gunn says: Make it work. And as Dr. Larch says to Homer throughout the John Irving book The Cider House Rules: Be of Good Use.

I’m writing this post to myself. #fingerwagging

For Pete’s sake, don’t let your wandering artist’s eye guide your only spare hour! Convince¬†and cajole¬†that meandering mosey¬†back to your art supplies to grab something to paint or¬†draw on. If you *must* surf social media, make it “be of good use”¬†and post something related to art. Share it. Find your people. Gather your tribe. Commune with your ‘hood in the art space that exists online. Write something about what you made today. Interact. Be your authentic self – which is just a trendy way of saying “pretend you’re talking to your best friend”. Get out there and be the whole, unguarded, you-ish, essence of you.

Woodcut printmaking on the kitchen table… ūüôā

So, that’s a conversation I have with myself when too many non-art To-Do’s¬†consume the days and weeks. Me and my inner voices, arguing. Can you relate? What does yours sound like?

? ? ?

Opportunities exist in human connections; reach out and say something to another artist. You may hear about a new tool, technique or show opportunity. What are you struggling with? What did you successfully hurdle today? Where is your next show? Which upcoming project in your list has you most excited? When will you start ? Share an artist who inspires you. Write about what you like in their work (without bashing your own in comparison).

If you do have a spare hour, allow¬†me to share my very own finger-wagging inner-voice with you, ¬†so perhaps you’ll be encouraged to¬†grab your creativity¬†by the shirt collar, and wrestle¬†it into making something – even if it’s just for 45 minutes, and then, reward yourself by using the last 15 minutes to share what you’ve made on your favorite social media platform. I will if you will. Deal? Here is a great article about re-charging your creative mojo.

If you’re struggling to get back to your creative zone, you’re not alone.There are¬†professional consultants working with large companies to help guide¬†staff towards higher performance by encouraging creativity – because as adults, we’ve forgotten how to get back to it. #whatajob!

Creative thought helps us innovate, make connections we hadn’t seen before, break open problems, and create not just works of art but “arts of work”¬†– work-related products and ideas that don’t just solve strategic problems but also surprise and delight. ¬†~Dana Asher

I wish I could say I’m not sure what Dana Asher is¬†talking about, but I know it well. I’ve slogged up the Hill of Fear, and I’m standing inside the ‘big picture zone’ the author is referring to, waving at you to step over the threshold and come on in.

Because, you know, we really need to get back to work. ¬†Here’s a list of six ways to get back in¬†touch with your creativity.

April Vollmer ¬†demonstrating Japanese Wood Block¬†– Watch this 4-minute clip of April talking about the flexibility of multi-color printmaking from blocks of wood. I highly recommend her book, Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop, if you’re interested in Mokuhanga¬†– the beautiful, traditional Japanese woodblock printing (no press required). #inspiration


What did you make so far in these first 20 days of January? Me? Nothing. Nada. ¬†Zip. The obstacles to art-making occupy a fat list this month. But I’m chipping away. How about you?

See you in the next post –


P.S. You can subscribe to get each post shared on this blog¬†via email. Sign up here (it’s free).

Art Quote

In Oct 1959, Andrew Wyeth sat down to write a letter to his son Nicholas who was away at school. He looked up and saw a basket of apples illuminated in crisp fall light & sketched the scene on the letterhead. He wrote “Dear Nicholas”. That’s as far as he got; he went to his studio, found a 13×13 panel and painted the basket of apples in tempera. ~F. Sweet

How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft

4 thoughts on “Woodcut: Bergamo Window (& encouragement to use time wisely)”

  1. Dear MIss DelPesco, thanks for your encouragement. I do move the brushes a little most days, and more on the weekends. I even keep posting! Unfortunately, no on but my husband responds to my posts. I have been posting for several years but get no responses. I upload to fb and get a few responses there.
    I think of quitting posting and just painting, as I have no audience after years of effort.
    I hope your inspiration will return to you in Feb!
    xx Lenore

    1. Dear Miss Grubinger, Thanks for your note. I’m so glad you move your brushes, and you’re posting your work.I’m sorry you’re frustrated with the lack of interaction on your blog. On the topic of effort, please remember there are two effort-hats we wear as artists; the painter & the marketer. As a painter, your efforts are beautiful, and I applaud your commitment to continue your practice. Your work feels joyful to me. As a marketer (if you don’t care for that term, substitute with community member), here are some things you might consider:
      1) update your blog so that it reflects who you are, and that your work is available for sale by adding a banner that showcases your art, or your workspace, and add a subtitle letting visitors know a little more about you. 2) Add a clear, cheerful photograph of yourself to your profile so you’re not hidden behind an anonymous avatar. 3) Add a contact link so people who want to ask about methods, materials, pricing or commissions can get in touch with you discreetly without having to leave a comment. 4) Create a section of available work with prices and paypal buttons for purchasing. 5) Update all the Share & Contact widgets under your posts so they’ll work, and add links to your other social media accounts so folks can find you and interact with you on Instagram, Pinterest and FB, etc. 6) Think of your blog as your gallery. Your art is enhanced by the rooms around it. Change your bg color to white so your art will not have to compete for center stage in value, contrast and temperature. 7) Share *every* blog post across *all* your social media accounts. 8) Use labels and tags on *each* blog post that will match words & phrases people would type into google if they were looking for that painting; Watercolor of tulips, floral watercolour, botanical watercolor, etc. 9) Remember that people who buy original art often love knowing the artist personally, and knowing a little story behind the painting. It gives them a story to tell in their own homes when someone notices their collection. That’s part of what separates a poster from a big box store from original work, so share a little of yourself, and why or where or how you painted that subject, if you feel comfortable doing that. 10) Don’t quit posting; it’s the BEST way of participating in a global community of artists, and the world is full to the ceiling with good, kind, generous, hard working, complimentary, encouraging, flying-by-the-seat-of-their-pants artisans looking for the same kind of community and support you’re missing. Paint. Post. Comment. Share. Encourage. You’re in very good company.
      xoxo Belinda

  2. Dear Belinda,
    Wise words. I have been on the art trail, but dealing with family illness too. And of course that preempts most other considerations. But maybe even because of that I have blogged daily, and am working on several pieces. My mind is on fire with ideas — so all is well. Social media is a treat for me.

    Your blog is a very special treat indeed.

    XOXOXOXO Barbara

Write something.... pretend we're neighbors, and we’re painting watercolors together in the garden....