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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