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Glendale 7 x 9 Watercolor on paper (Sold)

Paint your Life

My first home after re-locating from the East Coast a few decades ago was a stucco, 1950’s ice-cube-tray styled apartment building in Glendale, California. The scent from my neighbor’s orange trees and the hazy, filtered sunlight made up for what the space lacked in character, and trying to capture the not-new-england atmosphere in watercolor was challenging and full of memories. (I started painting again, intermittently, while I lived there, so that’s something.) I love following other artists and bloggers who document their towns and rooms in their art – like Barbara Muir, Karen Hollingsworth, Colin Page, Eve Mansdorf and Charles Reid. Who do you feel inspired by? Do you paint your own rooms and memories from childhood homes, streets and gardens? What part of your own history feels fit to document through your artwork?

Painting a street scene in my neighborhood many years ago (photo Nick Smirnhoff)

Links for You

  • Ryan Holiday has written a great article about making work that lasts, with tips and advice related to what it’ll take to get to that point. Articles like this are always helpful if you’re just starting your journey. His examples are spot on, and they refer to names and brands we know, so the advice makes sense, and it’s applicable.

A great artist has to know to make great work and find ways of marketing that great work. Marketing is your job. ~Ryan Holiday

  • Laurel Daniel is a painter with enormous talent.  We met online first, and then by chance at an artist’s conference. I was leaving an auditorium with a couple hundred artists – each of us sporting a bold lettered name tag – after a live painting demo with Dan Gerhartz, and I heard someone yell ‘Belinda!’ The next thing I knew, a cute, bubbly, petite woman was hugging me. Laurel is documenting her journey to paint a series of commissions that are HUGE [10 feet] compared to her normal painting size. Have you ever painted something 10 times larger than your usual, comfortable format? For someone else? (gulp) Follow along on her blog here.
  • This is a beautiful Tedtalk by Dana Gioia, the former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet, about the sense of PLACE.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art is preparing to move 700 paintings in a 150 million dollar project to repair skylights above the art that were installed 77 years ago, as well as masonry, plumbing and wiring, etc. The photos in this article about the project are a fascinating look into the rafters, the museum rooftop and the skylight louvers used to soften the fugitive sunlight from damaging tender pigments.

Evidence of bath time with children – these remnants remind me how important it is to Play Every Day.

I’m marinating in summertime fun with my grandkids this week, and editing the new monotype printmaking video I mentioned in the last post after they’re tucked in and dreaming. I should have a new video demo for you very soon. In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying the season around you, and your art-making brain is busy stacking the particulars of a plan, while your hands move on your art supplies to create something meaningful related to this week in your life, in your rooms, with your peeps.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in the next post!


P.S. Here’s a discount link for 24% off my online course teaching you three systems to generate titles for your art. The discount will work till this Friday, August 10th.  Happy Back to School! Have fun!

Keeping it Real: The mess that is Video Tutorial Central, with my studio assistant napping on the job.

Art Quote

We are torn between nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.

~ Carson McCullers

Six tips to paint more often
Would you like Six Tips to Paint More Often? Here you go…

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