Tag Archives: process

Why I Think You Should Be Heading in Opposite Directions — Equally, at the Same Time



16 x 16, oil

This is exactly where I find myself at this point in the journey. If you have followed my work for some time, you have seen a marked change in my process. As one who is continually more impressed by an artist’s journey and growth than consistency, I honestly hope this is always the case.


24 x 48, oil

Always a student, I find myself studying the basics of art more: returning to drawing, thinking of reality, rendering it. It was just two years ago that I was in Florence studying classical art, and the influence is lasting. These opportunities for continuing education become deeply rooted in the process: drawing, studying from life, all the basics of a classical art education.


16 x 16, oil

At the same time, there has always been this joy in abstraction, an admiration for artists brazen enough to use bold a free brushwork leave parts of a canvas uncovered. You can see it in their work: a freedom and abandon. When encountered, it makes me stop in my tracks and stare in awe. In the day-to-day practice of art, my soul is just a little happier, a bit more joyful, when the abstraction is at play.


16 x 20, watercolor

Ah, but my classical studies have taught me that the truest freedom comes from first honoring the greatest discipline, then choosing the freedom to move past it … So I find myself headed in both directions at once: nodding to classicalism in my study and work and playing in abstraction and unadulterated joy at the same time.


16 x 20, watercolor

I’m curious, can you see this in my journey? In my work? I think you can count on seeing this even more in the coming year.

As always, I love hearing about your journey in the comments. And I invite you to join the ongoing discussion on Facebook and Instagram everyday.

Florence, Day 8: A Journey Within: Sometimes You Do Need to Run Away



The urge to paint has been strong. Yes, I’m here to study art, and I have been, but I’ve been playing with my pencil, experimenting with some oil sticks and watercolor. But my acrylics lay waiting. And that is my medium of choice.

I woke up sore, a good sore, the kind that comes from going and going, walking, then walking some more. So, I had to decide: a day trip to Siena or paint. Siena sounded oh-so-lovely, but my sore feet were less enthusiastic. Knowing I have three more weeks gave me the boost to stay in, set up a “studio” and paint.

I’m not sure why, but whenever I’m studying my craft, I don’t do my best work. I think it’s partially an identity crisis. What I mean by this is, you’re learning new things that make you approach your work differently. I think it’s partly just getting used to those new things.


There is also the being away part. Out of my studio, my habits, my regular systems. Sure, everywhere you go, there you are, and all that, but still: Changing your surroundings shakes things up, makes you look at things differently. It’s all good, but also adds to the out-of-my-element feeling with my work.

All I know for sure is I only left the house today for provisions, and yet I went on a journey: one within. The kind that often shows up when you’re away and your senses are assaulted in that beautiful way that new surroundings provide.

I need to believe my own words to my students when I teach. Things like, “You won’t do your best work; don’t expect to. It’s about the process. Be in the moment with your work and detach from the outcome.” Reminding myself, as I do my students: “Get out of your own way and let the art happen.”

I’m not sure how well I did at this, I only know I committed to the process, honored my time with my craft and finished happy in my soul. That, after all, is the most important bit: the commitment to the work and the process.