Thursday, July 30

A Website with Online Videos about Art & Artists

Today’s Image
Mustang Island View
Watercolor on Paper
Copyright 2009

I found a website with online videos I want to tell you about in today's art blog.

But first, Today’s Image is the watercolor I completed last week and mentioned in the last OrbisPlanis art blog on Choosing the Right Blues for Painting Skies and Water. I told you how I selected the blue for the big sky in this painting. I also want to mention when you paint daytime skies, you need to make the horizon a lighter color that gradually deepens as it reaches the zenith. This will make your skies look natural. My painting is a view from the balcony of a condominium on Mustang Island on the Texas ‘Riviera’ coastline.

About the online videos...believe it or not, I occasionally read my own blog, and the other day, I was reading the Scrolling News gadget at the top of the blog. One of the stories caught my eye. It was a blog from the Indianapolis (Indiana, USA) Museum of Art, and it was about several art museum partners that were recently added to a website called Art Babble.

For some reason, the name Art Babble made me want to click on the link to find out more. The blog said there were 10 new partners on Art Babble and “a whole new batch of art videos to check out.”

This also got my attention, so I followed the link to their website, It’s an easy-to-use site with the tagline, Play Art Loud. I looked around for an ‘About’ tab or something that would give me an overview of what the site was about. I didn’t find one, but it was no problem to just explore.

What you’re drawn to first is a revolving marquee that previews the current videos available. I scrolled through the images and clicked on the one called Research in Progress: Van Gogh and His Contemporaries. You go to a 7+-minute video about a curator at an Amsterdam museum who is restoring a Van Gogh painting as well as some Impressionist paintings of the era. She talks about some of the x-ray and UV light techniques used to find clues about the history of the painting. Interesting.

The video was informative and made a good first impression of the site. The technical quality was good, and it was long enough to watch online without becoming boring. If this is the caliber of the other videos, then I am looking forward to watching more. I don’t know how often the list of videos is updated, but I guess that’s one reason to visit often.

You can sign-up to be member and open an Art Babble account. It's easy, especially if you already have a Google (or Yahoo!) account.

The tabs at the top are relatively self-explanatory. They are links to all their videos (I suppose), and you can browse by Series (which gives you a preview trailer); by Channel (which list topics you may be interested in, such as Abstract Art); or by the name of the Artist.

There’s a section with News that looks to be contributions from members. There’s a Featured User Profile where a selected member provides a quote and his or her favorite three videos.

It's on Facebook and Twitter, and there’s a column with Tweets that mention Art Babble.

There’s a What’s New section with links to a different set of videos from those in the revolving marquee. There’s also a Video Quotes section, which I think is quotes from members about a video they’ve viewed, but I could be wrong.

I like Art Babble! It's interesting and educational, and I plan to visit it often.


Monday, July 27

Choosing the Right Blues for Painting Skies and Water

Today’s Image
Sample Blues

Sometimes I get the blues, and you may, too; however, I’m not sad. I’m talking about all the blues available to you when you paint skies, water, and all kinds of other things blue.

Today’s Image is several popular blues I painted on a strip of watercolor paper. It’s a handy aid I use when selecting a blue for sky or water. From the top, the blues are Cobalt, Ultramarine, French Ultramarine, Ultramarine Deep, Ultramarine Light, Antwerp, Sky, Compose, and Horizon. The names you see in your art supply store will be different depending on the manufacturer, so you have to be alert.

The idea for a "Blue" blog came to me after finishing a watercolor last week, the subject of which was a beach scene. The blue sky takes up almost one-half of that painting along with a blue stripe of ocean. I had trouble re-creating the correct color of the blue in the sky from my reference photo. When the photo was taken, the sun was in the two-o’clock position, give or take a half hour, so the cloudless sky was very bright. It was a beautiful, clear, albeit hot, July afternoon.

Deciding on the right blue for a sky, and then matching or mixing it correctly, is the challenge artists live for, yes? That doesn’t make it any less daunting however. There are only three colors, blue (or cyan depending on your process) being one of them, so what’s the problem?

In reality, you’re faced with choosing the proper blue for the object you’re painting, whether it’s a sky, the ocean, or Wedgewood china. Traditional and abstract painters have the same problem.

As you know, on the color wheel when you move away from blue, it starts changing to violet or green, depending on the direction. But not all at once, and on the way it turns into all kinds of blues. Your computer has the ability to make more than 256,000 different colors, with fully one-sixth of those being some shade of blue. That’s more than 42,000 blues!

Theoretically, you can mix that many, too, but fortunately, you don’t have to. Many of us are satisfied to mix several of our own blues from a limited palette. Most of us will be perfectly satisfied to buy one of the many blues available from the major manufacturers.

In my watercolor mentioned above, the time of day and location helped me narrow down the choices. I started with a limited Standard palette (Cadmium Red Medium, Gamboge Yellow, and French Ultramarine Blue). Because I could see some green in the blue of the sky in my reference photo, I decided to use either Antwerp or Cerulean blue, both of which have some green, rather than French Ultramarine, which has some red. I chose Antwerp because it doesn’t granulate as much as Cerulean, at least for me. After apply several washes of Antwerp, follow up with several more washes of Ultramarine Light to darken the sky higher up. The water was a deep, deep blue, so I was able to use the French Ultramarine for it.

Just to complicate things, if you’re working from digital reference photos, like I do, the photos you print on your printer may not have true colors. Check the printed colors carefully, and not just the blues. Any color may appear different, very different, depending on the program you used to upload the photo, how much ink is left in your printer cartridges, and even the paper you print on. Of course, working en plein air, the colors will depend on your eyesight.

With experience comes knowledge and ability. Selecting and/or mixing the exact blue you want may soon be the easiest part of your painting.

I'll show you my watercolor with that blue sky in my next blog, so check back later this week.


Thursday, July 23

Put Feelings Into Your Artwork and Let the Emotion Flow!

Today’s Image
Moonlight Ceremonial
Acrylic on Canvas
Copyright 2008
Today’s blog is about something emotional. Today's Image is an acrylic of mine.

Artists are known for their ability to visualize and then to render what they see and feel.

The ability to capture feelings in artwork is what separates the artist from the illustrator, the sculptor from the potter, and the photographer from the picture-taker.

Why is that?

You have probably read or heard art critics, or anyone with a good eye actually, use less-than-glowing terms, such as flat, lifeless, or boring to describe a work of art. Of course, they may be full of hot air or wholly unsuitable for making a comment, but many times they are right on target.

What do they mean? What is it that they’re not liking or seeing? We may never know because they are not able to be more explicit or to express exactly what they mean.

I think they mean the artist’s feelings. It’s called other things, too, such as grasp, or soul, or vision, or, blandly, artistic ability. You've probably heard it put other ways, too. For example, in portrait painting, it’s physiognomy, the art of discovering temperament and character from outward appearance, especially the face. (Drop that into a conversation and see jaws drop.)

Feelings! That’s one of the reasons artists are right-brained. We have feelings! We have empathy. We have sympathy. We commiserate. We look within and beyond. I liken this ability to that of actors who are able to portray an individual in a role so convincingly, they “become” that person for a time.

Pretty strong stuff, these feelings.

How can you tell the artist put his or her feelings into the work? Simply stated, it’s obvious. The work takes on an importance. It draws you in, and it’s difficult to stop looking. You keep discovering nuances. It outshines other work.

If the work is an animate object, you feel the emotional tie. If it’s a landscape, you feel what the artist felt at the place and time. In abstract works, you feel the whole experience the artist brings to the moment.

Look at any one of Mary Cassatt’s paintings of children.

Look at any one of Georgia O’Keeffe’s New Mexican landscapes.

Look at any one of Claude Monet’s garden paintings at Giverny.

Look at any one of Mark Rothko’s contemporary paintings.

You feel!

Now, go look at your own work, and see if your feelings are really in it.


Monday, July 20

What Is Contemporary Art? How Is It Defined & What Makes It Contemporary?

Today’s Image
An Abstract Image of Mine

A few blogs ago, I told you about how some of my art (and I) had been rejected from a juried art show and about how you live with that.

The show from which it was not selected, I like that term better, is an annual event to showcase under-promoted artists in my area. It is held by a contemporary "art center" that produces the event and is also a fund raiser. The art center is neither a museum nor a gallery, although it appears to be both, so I’m not sure what the distinction is. Their website describes it as: “a non-profit alternative space for the exhibition of contemporary works in all media.”

By entering the show, you also have the option to “join” for one year for slightly more than the registration fee, which I have done for the last two years. They do a very good job of promoting their events, exhibits, and artists with regular mailings and emailings.

One of their emails was a research poll on how they were doing and what things members would like to see or see improved. In the section at the end of the multiple choice questions was an area for comments. I had decided after not being selected that my art was not “contemporary” enough, whatever that is, and so I asked them what they meant by contemporary art. Of course, I never got a reply.

That got me to wondering how contemporary art is defined. So I did some online research and found out that it’s not at all nailed down.

Wikipedia, which I quote a lot, although it’s by no means an authority since anyone can edit it, said it was art produced since World War II. Another site said it was art produced since 1970 and made the distinction between contemporary art and modern art, modern art being after World War II and before 1970. Another site said contemporary art was art produced in your lifetime; it tried, but failed, to reconcile what that meant for both a 96- and a 25-year old.

Another site got off on a lot of art history of the 20th century. It talked about DaDa, abstract, abstract expressionism, neo-expressionism, minimalism, modernism, post-modernism, op art, pop art, and on and on. Another site talked about many of the artists, such as Pollock, Rauschenberg, and Johns.

Nowhere did I find anything about the style of the art, which is how I make the distinction between contemporary and traditional art. That is, contemporary art is (generally) not realistic. It is abstract, it can be exaggerated, and it is sometimes other world-ly.

Compare that to traditional art in which you can usually identify (or identify with) the subject.

Please don’t take this (blog) to mean I don’t like contemporary art. I do. I much admire the works of Mark Rothko with those soulful slices of color he used. I like many other contemporary artists, as well, along with many traditional artists, too (like Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper).

That’s what’s so great about art and enjoying art-- it’s all about what you like.

I wonder what alternative space means...?

Thursday, July 16

Why Is It Called Davy's Grey (Who Was Davy)?

Today’s Image
Henry Davy's Etching "Beecles Church, Suffolk"
From Darvill's Rare Print Shop

The other day, an artist I know was asking if anyone knew how to match a particular gray that she wanted to reproduce, for what I don’t know. Another artist said, “oh, that looks like Davy’s gray, let me see if I have it, or we can mix it.”

That got me to thinking, so I looked through my art books, not a vast collection, but a pretty good little library all the same. I found nothing on Davy's gray.

That did remind me of my recent blog on mixing grays in which I also mentioned Davy’s gray. I said in that blog that the color gray/grey has two spellings, but I liked g-r-a-y because it just looks right.

Of course, I went online and Googled "Davy's gray." The first hit was right on target from Wikipedia, It gives a brief statement which says, “Davy's grey is a greenish-grey colour, made from powdered slate, iron oxide, and carbon black named for Henry Davy.[2][3] Another name for this colour is steel. [4]The first recorded use of Davy’s grey as a colour name in English was in the 1800s precise date uncertain.” (I included the reference numbers so as not to slight anyone.) It also gives a very nice chart that includes a whole lot of grays/greys, such as arsenic, feldgrau, liver, seal, a whole slew of the taupes, also bistre and xanadu (whatever those are). Wow, I had never heard of most of these. Kind of interesting—you should click on it.

That is probably enough for most people to know, and if you are one of those, you may stop reading. I, however, wanted to know more about Henry Davy and why the color was named for him, so I kept looking. (Just FYI--in my searching, I saw Davy spelled two ways: primarily d-a-v-y, but also d-a-v-e-y, just to keep us guessing.)

The next hit was from I’m not sure what. It said Handprint and “black, gray & white” and is copyrighted by Bruce McEvoy, so I want to give him credit. It’s a lot of technical information with the chemical Color Index names and symbols,includes lightfastness and manufacturer’s names and a lot of other information on how the paint ages, etc. It did say, “Davy's gray was originally a slate pigment developed by Winsor & Newton for an 18th century English drawing master (known for his use of the paint).”

So, he was an artist, not too surprising. The next hits went way off track and were not about Davy, but on such things as how fast does oil paint dry and recycled glass tiles (what!?). There are also several Henry Davys; one--an internet professional, and two--past (way past) president of the British Medical Society who died in 1907 (his obituary is online, nice someone remembers...)

I then switched tactics and Googled “Henry Davy.”

The first hit was about where you could find Davy’s work (for sale I presume) online at Artnet. It did list two of his paintings which both sold in 1991: Mr. Alexander’s House, St. Matthew’s St., Ipswich, 1851, and The Architectural Antiquities of Suffolk, no date; but no illustrations. I searched these titles and found out the second was actually a book of his art entitled A Series of Etchings of the Architectural Antiquities of Suffolk, but again no illustrations.

I found Today's Image on the website of Darvill's Rare Prints. Turns out, there are more links to information on these etchings, than there are on Davy himself.

From Google books, this link to Gentlemen’s Magazine, date unknown, and a review of the aforementioned book, A Series of Etchings of the Architectural etc.--a lot about the etchings, but no information on Davy.

Then what seemed to be what I was looking for from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography-- Davy, Henry (1793-1865), Artist, and a link to view the complete biography. BUT, first you have to subscribe online to Oxford, then you have to join your local public library, then login with your card no., then I don't know what all--too much trouble. Just give us the link already!

On the website, Society of London Antiquities, Cotman Picture, I found a link to a passage: “There are also two prints of the dormitory, one an exterior and one a south-facing interior, by Cotman’s one-time pupil Henry Davy (1793-1865). Davy’s etching of the interior, which was published on 27 April 1846, is taken from the same viewpoint as Cotman’s watercolour, but is a ‘tidied up’ representation of the architecture, omitting the window to the left of the fireplace and the arched door on the right.[5] Russel, Jabez Hare and Davy were members of the Ipswich Society of Professional and Amateur Artists, founded in 1832, a group which enthusiastically embraced the current vogue for painting scenes from British history...”

I found a link to a book entitled The Topographer and Genealogist with a passage about his etchings in Suffolk, but again no information on Davy.

Finally, I found the link that had the most biographical information of all my searches from the Dictionary of National Biography, whatever that is. Again, mostly about those etchings, but with a little more about Davy. Unfortunately, I was not able to find out how or why he developed that famous color that is named for him and known the world over as Davy's Grey.

If you have any information you’d like to share, please leave a comment at the end of this blog. You can also be the first to start a page with more information about Henry Davy on Wikipedia. Anyone? Anyone?

(Next time, I think I’ll blog about Payne’s Gray!)


Monday, July 13

Five More Tips for Watercolor Painting

Today’s Image
Santa Barbara Patio
Watercolor on Paper (22 x 30 in/56 x 76 cm)
Copyright 2009

If you follow me on Twitter, you may recall that I go to “Watercolor School” most every week. It’s not really a school in the usual sense, but critiques of several artists’ watercolor paintings by two recognized watercolorists. Whatever, I call it school.

A few months ago, I blogged about Five Tips for Watercolor Painting. These were not from any lesson or the “first five things you must know about watercolor” or anything like that. They were in no order, other than how they popped into and/or out of my head. As I said then, there are many more than five tips about watercolor.

Anyway, five more popped into/out of my head over the weekend. Here they are, again in no particular strength or order:

Only paint something you really want to paint

This tip is true about any painting medium, really, be it oil, acrylic, pastel, or watercolor. It’s not a rule, but it should be. You’re much more likely to do your best (or better) work if it’s on something you can really get into. If you’re painting as a favor or because Aunt Susan wants a portrait of her poodle, that’s fine, but only if you really want to paint that.

Paint from light to dark, generally (Today’s Image is my painting mentioned in this tip)

Every medium has its do’s, don’t’s, and must’s (fat-over-lean in oil, etc). In watercolor, one of the do’s is to paint starting with the lightest color first and progressively add darker washes or colors. You must carefully plan out in what order you’re going to proceed, which is not always easy for us artists, now is it? Every rule, or tip in this case, has an exception. I painted a watercolor that had a very dark area in the shadows under an overhang, and I painted that darkest area when I was about halfway through the painting. Well, I was scolded for doing so. I explained I was having trouble judging what value to paint the area surrounding the darkest area, and that once I painted the dark, then I would know. Finally, they agreed that sometimes it’s OK to paint the dark first, and I was vindicated.

Don’t be afraid to add a color to a limited palette

One of the things I’m learning about in watercolor is color palettes. There are numerous ones with names, such as Standard, Delicate, Old Masters, and several others whose names I don’t recall. I haven’t learned them by heart and must still use a “cheat sheet” that lists the palette’s name and which colors comprise it. Anyway, it’s not recommended, but you may occasionally add a color that’s not officially part of the palette as long as it’s really needed, and you have painted a swath of it on a strip to compare to the colors in the rest of your painting to make sure it “goes.”

Use frisket

If you don’t know what this is, please see my previous blog, What Is Frisket? You should put frisket on everything you want to remain white in your painting before you even put on any color at all. It’s the only way to mask an area so that it doesn’t absorb paint. You may have to add frisket to areas as you paint progressively darker parts. You may also have to remove and re-apply frisket to areas you’ve already painted--maddening, but sometimes the only way to correct mistakes (yes, I make mistakes).

Tracing is OK

Some artists will gasp!, but it’s perfectly OK to trace your image onto your paper rather than free-hand it. This assumes you’re painting from a reference photo and not en plein air, of course. Purists would disagree, but who cares, they would also say the only “real” way to paint is with oil? The object is, unless you’re painting in the abstract, to paint a realistic and artistic motif. This is especially true if there’s perspective or architecture in your painting.

So, try out some of these tips on your next painting. I’ll give you five more, when and if they pop into/out of my head.


Thursday, July 9

One Year of Art Blogging on the OrbisPlanis - Happy Birthday!

Today’s Image
A Birthday Present

Thank You! to all the Subscribers, Google Followers, and Viewers of OrbisPlanis. Wow. It’s been a whole year since I began blogging on the OrbisPlanis art blog.

I wasn’t even aware of it until it was brought to my attention by Clustrmaps, one of the gadgets over there in the right-hand column of the blog. They let me know they would archive my data (i.e., remove the red dots representing all the locations of visitors to OrbisPlanis during the last year and then start over) on the anniversary of my using their service. I added their service on my first blog, which was on 10 July, 2008, so I’m counting that as the birthday of OrbisPlanis.

Not that anyone, other than I, cares about this, but I do care, so I’m marking the occasion with a look-back. Please indulge me for one blog.

My first blog was entitled “A New Art Blog on How to Renew Your Art Skills.” Now, if that’s not a snappy headline, I don’t know what is :-).

In that first blog I defined what I thought the blog was going to be about. I said, “for anyone who likes/loves painting or art and is now retired. I would also like to have your input, experience, tips-and-tricks, how you did it, what works/doesn't work etc. This applies not only on how to get your artwork exhibited either online or traditionally, but also your knowledge on creating oil paintings, acrylic paintings, and pastels.”

Since then, however, I’ve ix-nayed any focus on “retired.” In the art world, labels, such as age and/or occupation (or lack thereof) along with sex, race, and national origin correctly have no bearing whatsoever.

During the first two-and-a-half months, I blogged daily on weekdays, M-F. I discovered I couldn’t keep up that pace and still provide what I considered to be interesting and useful information. Since then, I blog twice weekly without fail, and, not that you necessarily care, that’s been through a hurricane, the holidays, and home repairs, too!

But I’ve always wanted the focus of the blog to be on YOU, the viewers. I tried to broaden the blog’s scope by reporting on artists I like. My fourth blog was on Norman Baxter—and do you know, almost weekly I still get hits to that blog from people wanting to know more about him? That’s the power of the internet!

I also started to report on how-to books I find useful, museums and art gallery I visit, step-by-step lessons for painting, tips on using art supplies, and other interesting information I thought would enlighten the viewers, such as “Why Is It Called Hooker’s Green?” I added the daily Today’s Image graphic on the second blog.

The right-hand column is completely determined (controlled?) by the Google Blogger format. Under those constraints, I added more items, such as lists/links to: Some Favorite Sites/blogs, Previous Art Posts (where you can find ALL my previous blogs), Some of My Paintings, my Favorite Art Centers, and my online OrbisPlanis Art Gallery.

I also added:

- Artist Factoids, where I add some art terms that are less familiar to me in hopes that I’m providing new and/or useful information to you, too

- Favorite Art Quotes-where I add particularly insightful words from artists as I run across them

- About The OrbisPlanis

-A neat gadget that pops up a new piece of artwork every time you (or I) visit the blog

- Recently, a link to my Twitter page as Twitter has grown into a worldwide phenomenon

- Google ads—NOT a moneymaker, and I hope you don’t find them too intrusive

- A running news feed that carries art news

Oh yes, and Clustrmaps, which brings us full circle. So, when you see all the red dots disappear, don’t worry. The map will get re-populated as visitors come to the site.

You can help, please, by letting your artist friends and family know about the OrbisPlanis so they can become regular viewers, too.

This time next year, the headline of the blog will read “Two Years of Art Blogging on the OrbisPlanis—Happy Birthday!


Monday, July 6

Take Time to Find Out More about Edward Hopper

I like to read biographies and autobiographies, but mostly biographies. About a year ago I was reading up on an artist I wanted to know more about—Edward Hopper.

I had read about an exhibit of Hopper’s art that was opening and at that time had only a vague notion of his work. I knew he was a relatively contemporary American painter, if you call the mid-2oth century contemporary. But I couldn’t name even one of his paintings, much less conjure up an image of his work, other than the one accompanying the announcement of the exhibit—I think it was a lighthouse.

As I said, I like to read biographies, especially biographies of artists. So this was the perfect opportunity to learn more. I think I first did some Google research online just to give me some context.

If you are like I was at that time, with only the slightest knowledge of Hopper and his work, I think you will find learning more about this very interesting artist to be worth your while. For me, it’s the learning experience and finding out more about how they lived and created their art as much as it is the art itself.

There is a lot of information and many books about Hopper. I ended up with two. One is a collection of his most famous paintings in somewhat of a chronological order along with an informative narrative titled, not surprisingly, Edward Hopper. It’s a compendium of articles on his locations and subjects by Carol Troyen, Judith Barter, Janet Comey, Elliot Davis, and Ellen Roberts. I really like this book, and several times a year it sits out on my coffee table

The other is a very comprehensive biography of the man and his life, Edward Hopper-An Intimate Biography by Gail Levin. An intimate biography is right; it’s so in-depth, you feel like you’re living in the next room with Hopper and his wife, Jo--sometimes almost more than you wanted to know, but fascinating all the same.

In case you don’t know a thing about Hopper, here’s a very brief update. Born in the 1880s, he’s originally from the Hudson River Valley in New York, but created most of his art in New York City and Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He studied at the New York School of Art and also traveled and studied in Paris and other locations in Europe. Although one of his first works in oil, Soir Bleu, was initially panned, he eventually found success in a watercolor, The Mansard Roof, painted in 1923, and the rest, as "they" say, is history.

He painted both in oil and watercolor throughout his career. He is known for his realistic (although one artist told me he thought it was rather flat) style of painting in both city scenes and landscapes. What’s most interesting to me about his work is the sense of longing or sadness in many of his paintings, both with and without human subjects. I get the feeling that I’ve missed something important that just happened when I view many of his city- and landscapes. Of course, not all are like that; Ground Swell, for example, is a happy, summer, sailing scene.

From my research, the consensus is that his most famous painting is Nighthawks from 1942, in which a man, a woman, and a waiter are viewed in a diner at night, and you are left to guess what intrigue is taking place.

Wondering what all those people in his paintings are up to, along with his beautiful handling of light and shadows in much of his work, is what draws me back to look at his work over and over again.

I hope you take time to find out more about Edward Hopper.


Thursday, July 2

15 Ways to Motivate Your Art Mojo During the Summer

Today’s Image

I've used Today's Image before, but it fits today's blog, so I decided to re-use it until I get motivated. The summer doldrums and heat have set in, at least in my corner of the northern hemisphere. At this time of the year, I become a little lethargic and need motivation to keep the old art Mojo and artistic juices flowing.

I’m assuming this happens to you and all artists some of the time. If not, count yourself as one of the lucky ones.

When this happens, I do one or more of the following things:

1. List everything I’ve always wanted to paint someday (even if it’s only a mental list), and then tell myself, “this is the day,” and see what happens.

2. Pull out my set of pastels because I think I really like to paint with pastels, only it’s not an easy medium to quickly become good at, so I just stare at all the nice colors until I get tired of doing that.

3. Get the book, The Impressionists, down from my art bookshelf and find a nice cool spot to casually look at all the beautiful paintings.

4. Following on to no. 3, pretend I’m Claude Monet and think what it must have been like to invent “impressionism” and to be able to paint like that.

5. Mix as many colors as I can with watercolors or acrylics using only cadmium red medium, cadmium yellow medium, and ultramarine.

6. Draw my hand; if you’ve taken anatomy for artists, it will re-new your skills, and if you haven’t it can be a catalyst to do so.

7. Go to an art museum; it doesn’t matter if it’s contemporary or fine art or whatever, just go there to get some inspiration.

8. Re-organize my art studio bin again

9. Go physically to my favorite art supply store and stroll up and down the aisles.

10. Same as no. 9, except I do it online at Cheap Joe’s, Daniel Smith, etc.

11. A big time-waster, but while I'm online anyway search for an art-y thing that interests me, such as gouache, Edward Hopper, Cubism, encaustic, Conte crayons or whatever; you’ll find more than you ever wanted to know about any of them, but it will pass the time until you feel like drawing or painting again.

12. Figure out what my next three motifs will be; this will either motivate you or have the unintended opposite effect.

13. Pretend how I would have painted my last painting in the abstract style.

14. Explain to anyone who will listen long enough, why I'm drawing and painting.

15. Finally, I do nothing – this works for a while, then I see that it’s not solving anything, but by then I've forgotten what the problem was.

Happy artistic summer.