The Secret to Making Interesting Art

Hi Everyone,
As I’m getting ready for my upcoming show
I’m trying to make sure every piece is
being developed at the same level.

What this means however, is that the pieces that
are not as strong really stand out from the others.
The question then becomes, how to fix them?

watch the video and see what I mean,

Fortunately there’s a simple solution to this
issue, and it has to do with activating the surface
of the painting as a whole.

Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.
How do you fix work that is not as successful as
your other pieces?

In gratitude, Nicholas

PS On Tuesday, October 23rd I will be hosting a free
live online workshop. To register for this event, just click here.
I hope to see you there!

 

Differences in All Things

Hi Everyone,

In last week’s Sunday blog I discussed the
importance of differences, and how to bring
them into your work. This week, I wanted to
continue that discussion, but from a broader view.

Specifically, I wanted to share with you how
inviting differences across a body of work, across
multiple pieces, is just as crucial as doing so with
any single individual piece.

Watch the video and see what I mean.

Part of the reason why this is so present in
my mind is that I am getting ready for a show in
December, and my current body of work is
starting to reach a point where I need to be certain
that everything is working together as a cohesive whole.

Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.
When you look at your body of work, is it quite varied,
less so, or somewhere in between?

In gratitude, Nicholas

PS On Monday, October 15th at 12pm PDT (that’s West Coast time)
I’ll be hosting a live webinar in the private Art2life Artists Facebook Group.
To watch the webinar, all you have to do is join the group, which you can
do by clicking here. Once you ask to join, one of
my team members will bring you in!

The Loud and the Quiet Conversation

Hi Everyone,

If there is one word I could use
to describe the most important idea behind
what I teach, that word would be differences.

Now of course, everyone knows what that word
means, but in the context of how I teach, the
best way to demonstrate just how crucial
differences are to creating powerful, authentic
work is something I call the Loud and Quiet Conversation.

Watch the video and see what I mean

If you can understand just this one concept
and nothing else, then you will be well on your
way to making outstanding work!

Leave a comment and let me know what you think!
How do you bring differences into your work?
I would love to read your thoughts on this subject.

In gratitude, Nicholas

PS You can check out the recording of my talk from last week
on value by going to the Art2life Facebook Page here.
Once on the page, just click “Videos” from the sidebar on the
left and you’ll see a list of all the available recordings. You can also
download the PDF from that talk by clicking here.

PSS On Monday, October 8th at 12pm PDT (that’s West Coast time)
I’ll be hosting a live webinar in the Art2life Facebook Group. To watch
the webinar, all you have to do is join the group, which you can
do by clicking here. Once you ask to join, one of my
team members will bring you in!

Be Bold and Begin

 

Hi Everyone,

Starting a new piece can be a bit like traveling
to someplace new without a map – you may know
a little about where you’re going, but without directions
it will take you longer than it should to arrive.

With that in mind, when I begin a painting, I
find the best thing to do is to be bold. So if I have
a panel covered in dark paint, I’ll then place some
light shapes over it. The contrast in value will
help direct me where to go next.

Watch the video.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think!
When you begin a painting, what do you do to
help determine your next mark?

In gratitude, Nicholas

PS You can check out the recording of my talk
from last week on value by clicking here. You can
also download the PDF from that talk by clicking here.

PSS On Monday, October 1st at 12pm PDT (that’s West Coast time)
I’ll be hosting a live webinar in the Art2life Facebook Group. To watch
the webinar, all you have to do is join the group, which you can
do by clicking here. Once you ask to join, one of my
team members will bring you in!

 

The 30,0000 foot view

Hi Everyone,

It’s no secret that in order to grow
we must be willing to try new things, to open
ourselves to different and unfamiliar experiences.
That is how we become better people.

Art is no different – if you want to become
a better artist, you must be willing to try new
approaches and ways of creating. So with that in
mind, I’ve been doing this new thing where I’ve
started painting on the floor of my studio!

Watch the video.

I’ve found it’s a great way to get some new
objectivity with my work, to take myself out of my
own head and to look at my paintings from a new
perspective. Plus, it just feels good!

How do you change up your art practice? Have you
been trying anything new recently? Let me know! I would
love to read your responses.

In gratitude, Nicholas

PS Often times my favorite Sunday blog posts come from
your suggestions, so if you have any topics you would like me to
cover, just ask!

PSS I’ve been hosting a Facebook live every Friday at 12pm PDT
(that’s West Coast time) on the Art2life Facebook page. If you’d like to
attend, just click here.

PSSS I’ll be hosting a special webinar in my private
Art2life Facebook group on Monday at 12pm PDT
(that’s West Coast time). To join the group and attend the webinar,
just click here and someone from my team will bring you in.
Hope to see you there!

Essential Tools Part 2: Gloss Medium

Hi Everyone,

With last week’s video blog, I showed you how I
use the trowel in my work. I had such an outpouring of
feedback from that video that I thought I would show
you another one of my favorite tools: gloss medium.

This is a great tool for creating finishes – it’s
the cherry on top, the frosting on the cake, and can often
be that little needed touch that elevates
your work from good to great.

Watch the video and see how I use it.

Let me know what you think! Have you ever used
gloss medium and if so, what do you think of it? Do you
use other mediums in your practice?

In gratitude, Nicholas

P.S. If you’d like to get some of your own
gloss medium, just click here.

Essential Tools: The Trowel

Hi Everyone,

With much of my work, it seems like I am trying to
strike a balance between two opposites: quiet versus
bold, strong versus subtle, controlled marks versus those
that are more spontaneous.

A key part of pulling this off successfully is having the right tools
for the job, and in this regard the trowel is extremely helpful.
It is an essential tool for me and my art.

Watch the video and see how I use the trowel.

Let me know what you think! What tools do you use in your
practice? Do you find that you like marks that are more controlled, loose,
or somewhere in between?

In gratitude, Nicholas

P.S. If you’d like to get your own trowel, just click here – this is a great tool for any creative who is looking to make less controlled, more spontaneous marks!

 

Feeling or Thinking?

Hi Everyone,

Sometimes I think I just can’t hold everything in my brain.

So many times when making my art, I make the same mistakes.
Painting is so absolutely transporting, so distracting, that you can forget
everything you ever learned. I know this is so frustrating. It was for me.

But actually, losing your direction can be a good thing.
The good part is that you will make it from how you feel
and not so much from how you think.

And that is what this week’s video is all about.

Check it out.

Try to make your Art more from what you feel

rather than what you think. If you do, your work gets more personal.
It is simply more like you. And lo and behold if it is, if it is a reflection
of what you feel, then it will be more authentic. And when that happens
it changes from garden variety good to amazing.

Give it a try and let me know how this works…

By the way, I am doing live teachings
every Friday at noon on the Art2life Facebook Page.
I hope you can join us this coming Friday at noon! .
Here is the recording from Friday. It was all about Limiting Beliefs
and I created a free download all about them.

Hope your time in the studio this weekend is going great,

Nicholas

Here is what Happened

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the comments last week
about finding clarity in your art.
Since I had so many ask to see how that
painting turned out, I thought, this week,
I would show you.

After last week’s vlog I kept painting and once
I had established some strong darks, the
painting started to become more clear for me.

The next phase was to balance the composition.
Balancing a composition is important and it might
be something that could help your work too.

Watch this week’s video as I dive into balance.

If today is an art day for you I hope it is a great one!!

Nicholas W

PS Click here if you want to join the A2L FB Artists group.
There is a ton of great learning and sharing going on!

Are You Clear?

Hi Everyone

Sometimes our lives can feel so full.
This can feel good but it also can be overwhelming.

This week I am going through dozens of old boxes
of stuff I stored in my studio 5 years ago.
So much of it I no longer need or even remembered I owned.

I don’t think the problem is having a full life.
The problem is having it full of things that are not
important or meaningful anymore.

The answer then, is to get super clear about what should
be in your life and what should not.
In other words, take action and let stuff go!

This same problem came up in my painting this week.
In fact, it happens all the time.
In the beginning stages of my paintings I can have way too much.
And that can be overwhelming.
I just can’t tell what is in and what is out.

So the work around is to take action.
Make some bold moves that make it easier
to see more clearly.

Art making is just one long life practice of
becoming clear about what is in and what is out.

Overtime, we improve at discerning the right answers.
And the evidence of that improvement is
stronger and stronger art.

How you do choose what is in and what is out in your art?

Hope your studio time is fun today.
Nicholas W