Showing posts from September 24, 2017


"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes... including you." Ann Lamott

My go-to recommendation for myself or a loved one who is upset or agitated is to "make a cup of tea." I serve tea in my studio where I teach classes, too. It is good to step away from our work and unplug for a few minutes to let the art-making settle into place. We can then return, calm and with clear eyes, to continue on the journey of making something beautiful.
Our feelings of stress in painting sometimes come from our unwillingness to plan a little before we begin. Take time to make a map.

I was more relaxed and happy doing this painting, "High Tea", because I mapped out two important  steps before I began.

I carefully drew my subject with charcoal. With this subject I knew I had to get the ellipses pretty perfect! I used my kneaded eraser a lot!I spent a lot of time adding values to the drawing with charcoal. 
I had my road map.  I only needed to do one…

Be Ready for Inspiration

What should I paint? Sometimes I feel stuck and uninspired. Sometimes I want to paint, but I just can't seem to find the right subject. Has this ever happened to you? 
If your thoughts about what to paint feel frozen and you feel somewhat panicked, stop and breathe!
The place to start is where you feel calm and relaxed and happy. Do you love your garden? Then go there and choose something to paint that brings you joy. A single flower blossom in an old medicine bottle, perhaps?  Maybe you have a favorite walk you take to unwind and shake off the cares of the day. Stop and take a reference photo of the light through the trees or a spectacular sunset.  If we are open and maybe even a little vulnerable, inspiration will choose us. Be open to the moment and breathe.
If you are taking my class right now, you have an assignment to bring in a reference photo for a future painting. Just breathe and find something you love. I will teach a lesson on composition and cropping a reference phot…