Monday, August 11

4 Steps to Renew Your Interest in Art

Dune Lighthouse
Oil Pastel on paper
18 x 24 in/46 x 61cm
copyright 2008

NEW! - "Artist Factoid"

Starting this week we’ve added a new weekly feature, "Artist Factoid," right over there below the Welcome. What is it? A brief factoid about something or someone related to art that you may or may not already know. Hey, knowledge is power.

Renew Your Interest in Art

Renewing your interest art is this week’s theme. I’ve divided it into four steps, each blog about one of the steps.

Sounds pretty effortless, like all you need to do is wish it, and it will happen. Like most worthwhile things in life, it will take some effort to get from Point A to Point B, but you can do it.
You’re may be thinking something like, “Wait just a minute. I’m trying to find ways to reduce effort in my busy life, not increase it.” A valid point, and I’m with you all the way. Consider thinking of it as re-directing your effort from something less important to something more important to you. That sounds a little more palatable, doesn’t it?

So let’s go...

Step 1 - Make Your Art A Priority

That sounds do-able. Persistence. Mind over matter and all that. You have decided to renew those old creative juices, and you’re serious about it. It doesn’t take a whole lot more than determination and a little time. You probably already know this, but let me give you a little reinforcement and tell you why it’s important.

Time is flying by, if you haven’t noticed, and no matter what your situation, you must find time for those things that are important to you. That’s not to say abandon your responsibilities and throw caution to the wind. Of course, you can’t do that. It would only be counterproductive anyway. You’d worry. And worry leads to tension; tension leads to anxiety; and well, you can see where that’s going. First tend to your family and livelihood responsibilities assuming one or both apply in the case of most people.

There is a lot of wasted time in everyone’s life although we don’t admit it. How can you regain some of that wasted time in order to make your art a priority? Here are my suggestions for squeezing out extra time in your day:
  • Top of Mind - keep the subject of art running in the back of your mind—what does that mean? It’s like a file that you have open on your word processor and you go back and add information. Keep art accessible and available for thinking about all the times—you will be surprised to find you do have extra productive time.
  • Daydream—if you follow the above suggestion, then you will find this one easy; let your mind wander whenever you don’t really need to be concentrating; let your creativity come to the forefront.
  • Conjure—if you follow the above suggestion, then your thoughts and ideas will remain with you even after your daydream is over; that is, you will be able to summon “as if by invocation or incantation” your creative ideas to be acted upon.
  • Don’t worry so much—Instead of worrying about an immediate concern that may not be that important in the big picture--ask yourself if it will matter in a day, a week, a month, a year? You’ll be able to either solve the problem or put it in the proper perspective, and you will be amazed at the extra time you have by not worrying so much.

So that’s it. I could add more suggestions, but I’m keeping it simple not to bog anyone down. Make your art a priority starting now.

In the Studio
After blogging about oil pastels all last week, I decided to do one over the weekend, so that is the graphic at the top of today’s blog. It’s from a reference drawing of a lighthouse somewhere; it may not even exist. First I drew in the main elements softly with a pastel pencil. Then worked on the sky, the lighthouse, the mid-ground, and the foreground, in that order. Three things I like: the texture of the upper portion of the sky achieved by using the side of the oil pastel; the light and shadow on the lighthouse created with light blue and gray cross-hatching; and the near watercolor effect on the foreground using odorless mineral spirits.

Still in a quandary over what my next project will be. I’ve been wanting to do a large canvas acrylic, so think I’ll go in that direction. I’ll let you know.

If you like reading this blog, please leave a comment, and feel free to link this site to others who may have an interest.


1 comment:

  1. Time, it goes by so fast and before we know it we are looking at our grandkids remembering how things used to be. Every year I have been noticing that I tend to put priorities aside and focus on the immediate task at hand. Which leaves my art on the back burner and I convince (or at least I tell myself) I will get to it later. Well that “later” never seems to come and years go by and I see that my portfolio is empty. I really was getting upset with the realization of this, so I finally took some time, sat down, and thought about how can I make time for me and my art? It was extremely easy after that. So what I do now is take 30 minutes every day and I close my studio door and let my hands do the talking. I draw or paint whatever is on my mind. Sometimes I get so into it, my 30 minute outlet turns into hours. But it just took a simple little plan to make it happen. As an artist, you do need your time to let all of your creative energy out.