Monthly Archives: January 2017

What I Wish Everyone Knew About Making Art

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Making art — good art — takes a lifetime. It’s a discipline and a daily practice. Those of us who have dedicated our lives to the practice of making art do it nearly every day. And I promise you, if you did something every day, you’d get better at it.
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It’s the same with anything: You are not born knowing how to play the piano; instead, you take lessons, you practice. It is important for everyone to recognize this, because I think a lot of people never begin to make art because they believe they cannot. They believe they do not have talent. The concept of talent is this roadblock to making, when, in reality, the only path is to begin. All it takes is a desire. And a beginner’s mind: not expecting yourself to be good, but rather, begin with curiosity.
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Children are the very best at this. It has not occurred to them to judge their art. This is why they beam with pride upon showing you their art. They made something, and it was fun, and that feels good. So it is my encouragement to you to begin with the child’s mind. If you have the desire to be a maker, then please, make something — just begin. Push paint on canvas, or paper, and watch what it does, without judgment. The idea is not that it be “good or “bad” but that the desire to create be given a chance to get out of your body and out into the world. If you feel like you want to but you just don’t know where to begin. For inspiration and ideas on how to get started, check out my Pinterest page “Creativity is for Everyone” or the videos on my Facebook page or YouTube page.
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And, just as you signed up for piano lessons, take that creative class. The key is to just begin, and when you begin, take judgment off the table. You must always be very kind and gentle with yourself when beginning something new.
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2017 will have me creating more videos, so stay tuned. And you can always email me to set up your own class in my Ada studio, and by summer I hope to roll out some classes in Leelanau as well. Make it a year of learning!
As always I love to hear from you. Do you have plans for making art in the new year?
Let’s keep the conversation going on Facebook and Instagram. See you online, my friends.

The Use of Color in Art: To Be Bold, or Not to Be?

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16 x 16, oil

That is not the question. Let experience be the guide, and your instinct. It’s not an either/or question.

In my youth, only bold and strong color was interesting to me. My home was a Crayola crayon explosion. “Wow,” people would say, much to my surprise. You mean a hot pink bathroom, red kitchen and orange living room aren’t the norm? It never occurred to me I was being bold; it was just what was appealing to me.

When it came to painting the same rules applied: the more color, the more “true” the art felt to me.

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9 x 12, oil

Then sometime more recently, as my forties settled in, and some more life had happened, my palette changed. My studio turned from orange all over to deep charcoals and soft grays. My entire house got repainted, in fact. “Bold” color segued into more soothing, soft colors. I found the mostly colorful art my husband and I collected, both before we met and together, popped against the more limited color palette. I found myself enjoying it more. And my eyes felt more at peace.

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14 x 14, oil

At the same time, my art found grounding, greyed-down color to anchor the bold color, or the palette became black and white with splashes of color. Of course, I still adore color, and colorful art. But restraint has also become seductive.

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9 x 12, oil

Recently, the question was posed: “Is your change of palette a reflection of your mood?” My answer: maybe. But maybe more so a reflection of time and experience. Then again, my next decade, for reasons unknown to me, might find a return to the bold and brash. I doubt it, though: I think the older we all get, the more alluring the gift of restraint is.

What do you think? As always, I appreciate your feedback. Leave a comment or join the ongoing discussion on Facebook and Instagram. See you out there!