3 Things I Learned

As I prepare for my very first solo show that will take place in May, I spent last week creating larger pieces of art.

We're talking 36x36 and a couple of 48x48.
Here's what I learned in my first week:

  Don't create with music playing.

Yup, it's true. I do my worst art when I listen to music (and I love music!). The issue I encounter is that I'm in my head too much--judging, questioning, and overthinking.

I create my best work when I'm listening to words. It can be a podcast, audiobook, or even YouTube.

The pic below shows what happens when I listen to music. It's muddy. There's not enough mark-making. There's no structure.


Not going so well!


 Use your own art for inspiration.

I was feeling stuck. It happens. I never get in front of a new canvas and know where I'm going, but I usually end up somewhere I love.

Not this past week. Maybe it's the stress of preparing for a show that has me feeling unsure. I grabbed one of the previous pieces I created on 10x10" cradled wood and used it as inspiration.

I also love looking through my art book to give me ideas of where to start or what to do next.

If you're feeling stuck, refer back to your favorite art pieces. Hang them around your studio space as inspiration.


My inspiration piece is in the photo above.


AFTER: I used many elements from the inspiration piece. So much better! Not completely done yet, but really happy with where it's going.

  Turn off the camera. 

As you know, I often record my process and share it with you on YouTube. 

Well, I find that if I know the camera isn't running, I'm more relaxed and work through my pieces more freely. 

After many, many years of having the camera always set up and running, you would think I was very much used to it. That was not the case. 

I turned off the camera last week and was surprised and happy with the painting sessions. Surprised because it went so smoothly (I'm sure the podcast helped!) and happy because I created a 48x48 in a shorter period than it would normally take me.

Don't worry, I'll still create videos to upload to my YouTube channel.

48x48 somewhere in the middle stages.

48x48 close to done.

I'm sure there will be more lessons learned about preparing for a solo art show. I'll share them with you as I go through this process.

Let me know if you have any tips for preparing for a show.

As always, thank you for supporting my art adventures!


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