Ep 61 Featured Image Podcast

Overcoming What Is Hard in Art – Terri Froelich and Nicholas Wilton – Ep 61

December 21, 2022


One of the amazing things about teaching and participating in art workshops are the people.
I’d say about half of the “aha moments” come from just sitting around and talking. You’re surrounded by all these artists from all over the world with a wealth of different skills and experiences and you get to glean from all of them. Add one or two cocktails to the mix, and now you’ve got the kind of conversations that can literally change the direction and quality of your art journey. On this episode, I’m bringing that experience to wherever you get your podcasts. 

While enjoying some downtime from teaching a workshop in Mexico, Terri and I turned on a mic and had workshop participants ask their burning questions about art-making. Specifically around what’s hard about bringing our art to life and how to overcome those challenges. Join us for a fantastic time filled with insight, laughter, and a bunch of great artists on the journey together.

Listen if you are interested in…

  • How to honor your style alongside the fundamentals  [2:43]
  • Discovering yourself in what feels good [6:14]
  • Finding your intuition during struggle [9:34]
  • Balancing difference and pattern [16:15]
  • Going wherever you want with your art [23:10]
  • The best part about working with other artists [28:19]
  • The push and pull of art-making and knowing what to do next [31:44]
  • How to keep going, even when you don’t want to [37:14]

Making fundamentally individual art

It’s such an honor to work with so many different artists. I started Art2Life in my 20s as the antidote to being by myself in the studio. Every artist struggles and the journey is so much better when we get to figure it out together. I thought Doug brought up a great question around honoring your style while still incorporating the fundamentals of art-making. The truth is, we can’t help expressing our individuality. It just comes out! When we think about the principles of art, we can’t view them as rules. These core concepts are meant to complement our unique style and way of doing things. Terri sees the fundamentals as tools in her toolbox. She always sets out to be bold and honor her individual style. If something’s not working, Terri uses the principles to make it better, but she doesn’t let them change the kind of art she wants to make.

Stepping outside your comfort zone

Art-making is hard sometimes. Tracy highlighted this point well by saying that sometimes it feels impossible. While I guarantee you it’s not, I can definitely relate. Learning new things can be difficult, but breakthroughs don’t happen unless we’re willing to get uncomfortable. Fighting that feeling only prolongs the inevitable. It’s when we’re willing to let go and push off into the unknown that the answers start to come. Growth doesn’t happen without a few growing pains. Practically, Terri said this might look like using tools outside of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s a trowel? A different palette? Bigger brushes? Whatever you use should help you break free from what you were doing previously, so you can grow. And if it doesn’t give you the results you were looking for, you have the freedom to go back to what makes you feel comfortable with a fresh perspective. It’s all fine because art is about what resonates with you.

Embracing the unknown

One of the most difficult places to be in a painting is when you don’t quite know where to go next. Especially if you’re not crazy about what’s already on the canvas. The heart of the issue Joanne expressed is our need for certainty and that we’ve convinced ourselves that “not knowing” is a bad thing. I see the unknown in art as the natural tendency of you inside of you, the soul of you, the innermost knowing, always wanting to evolve. It’s an opportunity to grow, not a roadblock to progress. I know it doesn’t always feel that way because we want the painting done yesterday, but patience goes a long way in the process of hearing and developing our inner voice. 

Terri embraces these crossroad moments by making a bold move of some kind. Something that forces her to dive back into the canvas and fix it. The result is always even more incredible because it adds layers and depth to the work. Art-making is a push-and-pull relationship. Sometimes we need to take a step back in order to take ten steps forward. Listen to this episode for more wonderful questions from our workshop participants!

Resources & People Mentioned

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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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