March 2, 2017

Try this next time…

I think the main challenge in art making is remaining objective. How do you totally focus on this thing you are making—a painting, sculpture etc. without losing your objectivity? We need to see it as it appears for the very first time even though we have been staring at it for weeks. If we can see it clearly we have a better chance of improving it by the changes we make.

Here are a couple things I do:

1 I rarely work on something for more than 2 hours. I try to stop closer to an hour for maximum efficiency in my art process. I do my best work in the first hour almost every time.

2 I Post on Instagram what I am making. That forces me to see it small. Once I see it in my Instagram feed I can see it in a way I haven’t before.

3 Allow some distractions, like music, podcasts, and even visitors to interrupt you a little. I find my work is more easily made when I am not allowed to overly focus and obsess.

4 I turn my painting upside down and change the design so it works upside down. Then I flip it over again and re adjust for that orientation. I do this constantly. Each time I change it for one direction it improves it for the other. IN the end my picture can work either way, and then I know it is balanced.

5 I always work on 4-10 paintings on my studio wall. Not necessarily at the same time but I do jump around and I can always see all of them. Seeing so many makes it harder to obsess over one.

What do you do to remain objective? Lets start a list from all our comments…I will compile it and post it in FB and back here next week as a download. This could be super helpful to all of us!

Thanks in advance for all your comments. I read every one even though sometimes I can’t respond to all of them. I am painting a lot right now as I have a solo show coming up at Caldwell Snyder Gallery in San Francisco! The opening is Thursday, 5:30- 7:30 April 6th. If any of you are up here then I would love to see you!

Nicholas Wilton

PS The image above is a cropping of one of my father’s paintings. You can see his work at

Nicholas Wilton

Hi! I’m
Nicholas Wilton
the founder of Art2Life.

With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.

Join me and artists from all over the world in our Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group or learn more here about Art2Life.

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