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

Laptop Night Light 9×7 Watercolor on paper (available here)

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. 🙂

Working in the studio – just finished.

For this week’s #linklove post, I’m featuring Mr Jake Parker, a Utah illustrator who started the 31 days of ink drawings challenge, called Inktober. (I’ll be participating again this year, so let me know in the comments if you are too, so I can follow you on social media.) Jake also has a great Youtube channel with tips and encouragement for up and coming illustrators, and has recently launched another movement called World ArtDrop Day. He posted this wonderful video (below) last week about finishing your art, and I think it will be worth your minute and a half to watch if you’re stuck or you need encouragement to get back into your art-making. #finishednotperfect


On the topic of reading and planning things, I loved this article by Jay Cassano: The Science of Why You Should Spend Your Money on Experiences, Not Things.  Cornell University published the results of a study on money and happiness, and the results may help you decide where to put that extra cabbage in your checking account. Read it here.

“So rather than buying the latest iPhone or a new BMW, Gilovich suggests you’ll get more happiness spending money on experiences like going to art exhibits, doing outdoor activities, learning a new skill, or traveling.”

I’ll be thinking about this study while planning family trips and the art workshops & online classes I’ll sign up for in the coming months. How about you? ????

See you in the next post,


(You can receive these blog posts via email by subscribing here.)

Art Quote

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

Ira Glass

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