Posts Tagged ‘artist process’

What Gets In The Way?

There were 36 hours this week when my normally plucky self completely derailed. You know, the equivalent of a dozen bad hair days slamming into you all at once.

Thank goodness, when that happens, I have a coach. A smart and compassionate one who doesn’t let me get away with much.

Her first question, when I confessed I’d woken up feeling like a failure, was: When did that start?

Well, of course, the part of me that preferred wallowing to working drew a blank.

I woke up that way, so hey, did it start in my sleep? (heading down dark paths of the psyche brings out my cheeky side)

What followed was a volley of questions (hers) and non-answers (mine). My coach is remarkably patient, or tenacious, depending on how “oh,-I’m-not-feeling-resistant” resistant I’m being.

I still don’t remember the exact moment I gave myself permission to…

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Hiding Out in Plain Sight

I know, this is not the first time I’ve disappeared from my blog.

Thank goodness for all my smARTist Telesummit Alumni whose art is a balm for bad habits. (I’m waving to every single one of you!!!)

In the past, I’ve fallen off the blog wagon because, honestly, I wasn’t inspired.

And I’d beat myself with the wet noodle of: be disciplined, grl! You don’t need to date the muse every time you write a blog post.

I would scoot over to Alyson Stanfield’s blog or Joan Stewart’s and think: why the heck (well, maybe “heck” is more PG13 than I’m fesin’ up to) can’t I do that?

Be consistent.

Be concise.

Be clear.

Have a specific action for you to take/follow.

Then I’d go right back…

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Let there be light!

Years ago I became aware of how many times, upon meeting me for the first time, someone would ask, “Are you an artist?”

Now, let me be clear. I don’t flaunt orange hair and nose piercings. I don’t even wear flamboyant, artsy clothes. (Pretty, yes. Sometimes beautiful, yes. Just not what I would call “artsy,” which conjures up, in my mind, gorgeous handmade yummies.) And I certainly don’t turn up in torn jeans with paint all over them.

Nevertheless, that question – Are you an artist? – seems to travel everywhere I do. And it always makes me…

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Inside a barrel or watching the waves crash in?

Taking the month of August off, like they do in Europe, has totally changed my idea of “context.” Suddenly things I wasn’t even aware of are popping into view.

Like posts that are ready to come back around for a second reading.
From now until I return in Sept, I’ll be dishing up yummy leftovers.

Enjoy!

******

Once upon a time, an artist I was working with spent a long time priming and polishing her artist statement for a very serious studio exhibition she was planning in Boston.

She had been working for over a year on a series of oil paintings that had taken her in new directions, and she was attending to every detail of the exhibit with loving care.

Her large, abstract work was engaging on its own. But when you got a chance to read about her process and her thoughts as she painted, the work took on an even larger presence.

Part of my job was to coach her on how to present her artist statement so it reflected the same attention to detail that her art did.

But, as the saying goes…you can lead a horse to water…

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How Irreplaceable Are You? (Great Art-Part 3)

It’s really not important if you want to create great art, good art, or just-for-the-heck-of-it art. The last thing I want to imply in my “Great Art” blog series is that great art is automatically the goal.

Maybe yes, maybe, no—either way it’s not a judgment, it’s a description of one possibility.

However, if great art is a deep yearning inside you, I want to make sure you don’t think of it as a futile exercise in subjective reality or the opinion of others.

There are steps you can take (See Great Art Part 1 and Part 2). And while the markers of complexity, mystery, and mastery won’t assure you of greatness, at the very least they will give you…

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Confidence In Your Artistic Fingerprint (Part 3 of 5)

Some people also refer to this as your artist’s voice, much like every singer has a distinct tone that cannot be duplicated, or a signature style that’s immediately recognizable (think Georgia O’Keefe or Frida Kahlo).

It is what sets you apart from the pack of ordinary work, where a dozen pair portraits from a dozen different artists could be lined up next to each other and all look as if they came from the same artist.

When your work is speaking from the level of your soul, no one can ever successfully copy you. Your artistic fingerprint is just that: yours. By definition it cannot be anyone else’s.

Only a lot of artists feel confused by the difference between loving what they have just made, and knowing the work carries a distinct sense of who they are as an artist.

An artistic fingerprint can be simple or complex, but it is never about self-duplication.

It’s something you do…

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I’m “Out of the Closet”

Something’s been bubbling up around here, an underground hot spring that finally shot up an unanticipated geyser last week on Lori Wolfson’s and my Blue Stocking Art Salon gathering. The most surprising thing was that the artists on the call weren’t particularly surprised. Turns out I’ve been walking my silent talk all along – and only I have been oblivious to how obvious it has been. Until last Wednesday, I thought I was perfectly happy to let the hot spring in my soul remain…

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After a Sale, Go Slow

by smARTist Speaker,  Alyson B. Stanfield

Don’t overwhelm your art buyers with a lot of stuff and promotional material at the time of sale. Why?

Because you want to save items for future mailings – “touches” for your collectors. You’ll need to follow up regularly in order to keep your name in front of people.

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Part 2 – Buying Art: Can We Return to the Good Old Days?

by smARTist Speaker, Jack White

Check out my next two, short stories and start reinventing how you sell art today.

Story 1 – Stone Cold Creamery Sells Excitement. Ice Cream is the cherry on top!

I recently read a small book by Seth Godin, All Marketers Are Liar. Seth tells a great story of Stone Cold Creamery. The company started in Phoenix and now is in forty-six states. Stone Cold charges seven to ten times more than you would pay for Blue Bell ice cream at your local 7-11.

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Part I – Buying Art: Can We Return to the Good Old Days?

by smARTist Speaker, Jack White

Thirty-five years ago, I gave a client an exciting experience he never forgot. In return, years later, he lobbied for me to become an Honoree Admiral in the Texas Navy. (I commissioned on the USS Lexington.)  I gave my collector a “Highlighter Day” in the ‘70s, and he repaid me for that exciting buying experience with Governor Perry making my commission official with his signature.

In the past four decades I’ve seen a lot of changes in the art market; however none as radical as the years following 9-11. People are now ambling through outdoor shows and galleries in a zombie daze. 40% of the Carmel Galleries closed within six months after 9-11. Scores of artists gave up their careers.

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To Word Or Not

The next Blue Stocking Art Salon chat is coming up tomorrow and I thought I’d share another section from our first one in Nov.

It’s so rare that we take time to consider the more esoteric side of making art. But without that, how dry

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#ArtBlue-What About The Power of Art?

It’s been almost two weeks since our first Blue Stocking Art Salon began and the emails continue to come in from artists who were with us live, and artists who listened to the recording.

In that first conversation, I commented on how refreshing it was to talk about something besides marketing and business.

And it seems that the artists on the call thought so too. Here are a couple of quick excerpts that Lori (my Art Salon compatriot!) pulled out…

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Blue Stockings, Uppity Women, and Art

"Saint Dancing" by Lori Wolfson

When artist Lori Wolfson and I began talking, oh some six or more years ago, we found ourselves quickly traipsing through a tangled underbrush of ideas that sent adrenalin spinning in our veins.

We might start, as women often do, with an update on our romantic relationships, or the latest challenge in our personal lives.

But we never actually landed in that domestic territory. Instead, something one of us would say would immediately cause us both to…

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An Artist’s Random “Process” Dump

It is important for an artist to see progress in her work. Also…to learn when to stop drawing, when an image has achieved fullness…but this takes a long time and much patience.

I’ve got some morning time to draw today…difficult to get into though.

Grinding Gears as I Shift

It’s taking a complete switch of consciousness from my everyday accountability, of keeping my finances in order and other human duties, to a meditation on colors, forms, and spaces.

Once again I’m faced with the necessity of

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