Things to Think About

  • No thinking! (go to the canvas inspired, but leave “good” ideas home.) They never work.
  • Let the “work” itself determine the direction that the painting will take.
  • Be brave . . . you may need to paint out the “best” work you’ve done to get the painting where it needs to go.
  • Don’t be a “cookie cutter” artist . . . don’t punch out new versions of the same old thing.
  • Wreck what feels like “good art” to push yourself into finding something new (about the work, about yourself)
  • Be in good health and spirits . . . it takes a healthy body and mind to produce good work.
  • Take a lot of time looking at what you’re working on. Turn the painting in all directions. (You’ve most likely been painting your canvas upside down.)
  • Have fun . . . (You should be enjoying the act of painting) at least for a while . . . the torture will come.
  • Surprise yourself!  If you can’t surprise yourself how can you expect to surprise anyone else?
  • When the painting is going very badly . . . (as it will at some point) it’s a good time to push the envelope, and reinvent yourself.
  • Simplify . . . Sometimes getting rid of the excess will be a great help.
  • Work out of your comfort zone (be fearless).
  • Create a language that speaks to you.
  • Work on multiple canvases at the same time (jump back and forth).
  • Never worry about finishing a painting (I’ve reworked paintings years after I believed they were done).
  • Find a person (teacher) who will tell you the truth about your work.  Someone you trust.
  • Always be looking at art . . . get to the galleries, museums, etc. You need to know what’s happening in the art world.
  • Show your work, sell your work.