Love is in the Air

It’s February and our thoughts turn to love. Love doesn’t have to be romance – all hearts and flowers.

Love can be a warm fire, a blanket and a cuppa. Love can be your passion for art and creating.

Love can be your passion for nature. . . so this month think about love from all angles.

Below is a small collage – 4 in. by 4 in. – for my #100DayProject.

Playing with the heart theme…

For my Art Journal online class – called Wanderlust 2021 – I did a two-page spread in blues because I was thinking about where the pandemic has left many people – with broken hearts.

Art Journal pages – collage, paint, iZink glaze, white pens, etc.

Making Art

There’s so much more to art than the actual making or creative process. There’s supplies and shopping…if you do mixed media, there’s even digging through the trash or recycling bin for supplies!

There’s planning. There’s experimenting. There’s readying your space and cleaning up your space. There’s finding the tools.

Then sort of separately but not all together unrelated is the business of art – making a website, posting a blog, entering shows or galleries, etc. Even talking to other artists takes up time.

It’s all valuable, however. The swirl of things to gather, things to do and places to go can get overwhelming.

Oy! No wonder it takes so long to get to the paint on the canvas or whatever you do. Each one of those steps can be a barrier or boundary to getting work done.

So what I have been doing is counting each step as progress. Baby steps.

As my fortune cookie told me the other night – “Little acorns lead to mighty oaks.”

Keep watering your acorns!

Jump Start Your Creative Dream! Say Yes to Your Creative Self!

So I have a problem that many “creatives” have – how do I go from making art to selling art – full- or even part-time? How do I get my head around the “business of art” – from setting goals to marketing to pricing my final pieces?

Well I was invited by a friend to attend workshops by a creative coach! Who knew there was such a thing? Janna Morishima (https://www.jannamorishima.com/) is such a person! She has a background in publishing, works with her husband in a wedding photography business and has started coaching. Her presentation style is thoughtful, upbeat, optimistic and research-based. She is helping people see the “big picture” and move on with their creative businesses.

I learned a great deal from her first two workshops on business strategy and marketing. I highly recommend her final workshop in a series of three – and it’s free – about pricing your work. March 15 in Metuchen. You can learn more about her coaching practice here.

Work in Progress

Today I started working on some new mixed media pieces, and while doing so, it led to thinking about “Work in Progress” or sometimes known as the acronym term, “WIP.”

When an artist shares a Work in Progress, what is behind that sharing? Is it for true feedback – I think you need more raw umber there or quinacridone magenta in the foreground? Or is it just for the “Likes” – today’s form of “virtual applause”? Too much ego-stroking gets a little nauseating… but I get it, everyone needs encouragement along the way. Lord knows, I do. External encouragement is good (and authentic feedback is valuable) but really the “hard work” of creating is on “the inside.”

Work in Progress. How does an artist make progress? I have completed work, of various kinds, this year. But I’d like to produce more. There are so many barriers all along the path of creating a piece… from conceptualizing to actually creating (depending on the medium there could be many steps involved) to finishing (framing, argh!) and even the dreaded giving a title to a piece. Each one of these steps presents the potential to hit a barrier, a rock in the path, or worse, to fall into a pothole or big sinkhole , and then artist must struggle to climb out and get back on the road. What keeps you going on that road? That creative path? 

So it is the beginning of the year, and I have been thinking about my intentions for the year – increasing loving kindness, operating mindfully, and practicing creativity. (More about the others later.) Let’s focus on creativity.

Even when I look at the word “”creativity” – it implies action! Maybe it is because the ending “ity” is like  the ending of “activity.”

So is each step of creativity about action – if there is no action, there is no creativity? No. Not really. There can be a lot of action in the mind, in the spirit, in learning, in researching, in absorbing the world around the artist, all of which seems “inactive” to one who defines creating as only putting brush to canvas (insert your medium of choice here.) So it is okay to ponder, wonder, day dream and doodle! Yes, of course. I think the secret is not to stay there.

Does an idea for a work have to go through your brain and bubble up to the surface? Is the concept a whole finished idea or just a spark of a thought? How do I move from stasis to activity?

What’s the answer to progress? Maybe, for me, anyway, is to think less about the barrier and more about the path or even the process. Getting materials out, and just experimenting, etc. Experimenting allows me to open up creatively.

It is also about creating without thinking. But moving from a standstill to action..without thinking…Strange concept, I know, but I will try and see if it works.

We are all a “Work in Progress” anyway, no?

More later.