Is your art habitual?

Hi there,

Have you ever tried setting up a schedule
to make art for so many hours
on so many days?

I have tried this a bunch of times but
in the end I just never stuck with it.

Sometimes something came up
or I just didn’t feel like painting
for that amount of time on that
particular day.

And then I felt bad
about it which made things
even worse.

Clearly this was not working.
But tweaking things just a little
has made an art routine possible for me.

It was a small tweak but
has made a big difference in establishing
my habit of art making.

It turns out there are a ton of ways
to create good habits you want in your life as
well as letting go of old ones that no longer serve you.

What habits help you in the making of your art?

I bet our tribe knows a thing or two
about this subject!

Nicholas

PS If you want to learn more about habits check out
James Clear’s brilliant book “Atomic Habits”

I read it this week and learned a ton!
https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits

PSS If you are new to Art2life,
click on the link below to
get my free Color Tips PDF.

This can help improve
the color in your art.

Color Tips Download.

Where are you looking?

Hi there,

Your art might not be the
best place to look when
trying to improve it.

Your art is simply the final
result of many, many small
actions and steps.

This process, I have discovered,
is the best place to start
looking in order
to improve your art.

How you feel and think
on the way to making your art is
what really determines the
final outcome.

This is what today’s video is all about.

If you are looking to uplevel your
art you might try looking, not
at your art, but at the process
that created it.

What part of your art process do you
want to improve?

Let’s talk about this at the comment section below.

The changes I have made to my process have
made a huge difference in my art.

I hope this idea can be helpful for you too.

Enjoy your time in the studio today!

Nicholas

PS If you are new to Art2life,
click on the link below to
get my free Color Tips PDF.

This can improve
the color in your art!

Color Tips Download.

Is something calling you?

Hi there

Do you remember what awoke you
to your creativity?

It is different for everyone.
It could be seeing someone else’s art,
or it could be just seeing something in your life
that stirs your desire to make your art.

But make no mistake, these messages come.
And at some point, we notice them.

Today’s talk is about a few artists that did notice.
And took action.

This is about waking up to your
creativity.

Possibly you have already.

But maybe you are just
realizing that, in this life,
you might need to pivot
towards your creativity
a little bit more.

Towards more of what
brings you alive.

Is there a sign, message or signal
trying to get your attention?

Let’s talk about this below

I can’t think of anything more life
changing than the answer to this question.

Nicholas

PS Here is my cover art for Brene Browne’s “Gifts of Imperfection” mentioned
in the video.

PSS Brene is brilliant.
Here is a link to her fabulous new book
“Dare to Lead”

PSSS If you are new to Art2life,
click on the link below to
get my free Color Tips PDF.

This can help improve
the color in your art.

Color Tips Download.

Lines. What I just learned.

I have been drawing and painting my whole life
and it never ceases to amaze me how much there
is still to learn.

Today in the studio I discovered some cool
things about lines.

Lines can give your art a feeling of spontaneity
and scale without losing or markedly changing
what you have already made!

It’s a shortcut to energizing your painted surfaces
by adding in a relatively minor mark.

And what is so friggin amazing to me, is that
a line that is truly made with abandon and freedom,
will retain this energy even when partially covered.

In other words, even if we see just parts,
it still shows the energy of the whole line!

Understanding these aspects of lines is huge.
Moving forward, I will be drawing way more
into my work.

Is this something new to you too?

Let’s talk about this in the comments below

Nicholas

PS If you are new to Art2life,
Click on the link below to
get my free Color Tips PDF.

This can help improve
the color in your art.

Color Tips Download.

Less is More

My big studio table becomes cluttered with just about everything.
What ends up there by the end of the week is startling.
There are coffee cups, notes, unopened mail, magazines,
paint brushes, laptop cords, pens and palettes, and this week
even a single running shoe.

So I was clearing it up and as I did, I realized something.

I don’t think we actually make our best decisions first.
In art and especially life we often seem to land our best
decisions by changing previous ones.

A choice in our art, say a color, might only become
great by eliminating, changing the color it sits upon.
The beautiful symmetry of a tree might only be seen
by removing the tree in front of it.

The creation of Art, the delicious process of
making things is really about enhancing what
you love by eliminating all that you don’t.

Today, I will share a few key aspects of this
very important idea. Have a look here:

Remembering this can be a game changer for
how you make your art.

What can you take away to make your
art / life better?

I love this question.

It restores in me a hopeful feeling. The same one I get when
my studio table becomes mostly empty except for just the one
or two exciting things I am working on.

When I can see what I love clearly,
everything is better.

Let us know in the comments below how this idea
shows up in your art / life.

Nicholas

PS If you are new to Art2life,
click on the link below to
get my free Color Tips PDF.

This can help improve
the color in your art.

Color Tips Download.

The words that make your best art.

While travelling in Mallorca I got to
peek into Joan Miró’s studio.
Artist studios are such personal places and Miro’s
was no exception. His lifelong dream was to create
a beautiful studio in his adopted home of Palma,
Mallorca to make his art.

Everything is left the way it was when he was working.
There are stacks of paintings, newspaper clippings, found objects
as well as postcards from all over the world still pinned to the walls.
Miro selected everything in his studio and as a result all of it seems
related to the work he was making. It somehow all makes
sense when you peer into the space.

Throughout the studio there are numerous found objects,
paint stained tabletops, a shipping crate sent from London,
a portfolio folder with a hand lettered label which read “Varis” important
and of course dozens of canvases.

Even though I could see everything in the studio I couldn’t
help wondering about what I could not. What was spoken here
during the many afternoons Miro made his art? What about that
spring day in 1958 when it was announced that he won the
Guggenheim International Award? What did he say when
he was struggling with his art?

How he thought, spoke and expressed himself ultimately was
what created this remarkable fountainhead of art.
It is the same for us too. How we speak about what
we are doing, the words we choose will undoubtedly
influence the potential of our own creative expression.
I believe we all need to become better at choosing
accurate words to describe what and how we are making art.

I decided to create 2 lists that are compilations of the most
common positive and negative phrases and words I hear
from artists who are struggling as well as those thriving.
I believe there is a big connection with what we say
and ultimately what we create.

Below are some of the most common best (and worst) studio
words and phrases… do any of these sound familiar to you?

These words and phrases might help you make your best art…

Curious
Explorative
Playful
Spacious
Easy
Fun
Excited
Scary (in a good way)
In love
Letting go
Believe
Favorite Colors
Cherishing
Loud!
Quiet
Learning
Stretching
Unlimited
Wonder

These words and phrases might not help you make your best art…

Am I talented?
I am bored.
She is better than me.
No one will buy this.
Behind everyone
Perfection
No time.
I will just wait.
I am too old.
I can’t let them know.
I am a slow learner.
I am great.
It sells so it is good.
He / She said my art was great.
He / She said my art was not.
My best art is in the past.

What words and phrases you are ready
to omit or add into your creative life?

Let us know in the comments below!

Nicholas

 

Making Your Mark

Hi everyone,

It’s incredibly gratifying to finish
a painting. Seeing everything completed
and in the right place – it’s like coming home at
the end of a long journey.

There’s just one thing left to do: the signature.
Now, not every artist signs their work, which is fine!
It’s really a matter of preference. When it comes to my
paintings, for example, I do like to sign them.

Watch the video and see how I do it

There are of course a million ways to do this – no one
method is the best – but what do you think about this?
Do you like to sign your work, and if so, how?

I would love to know!

In gratitude, Nicholas

Improve your art by looking at this…

Do you ever lose your way in your art?
And often, no matter how long you look,
your art won’t reveal the answers?

So instead, of looking at your art,
try looking at your life instead.
You see, often your art is made in
response to your life.

In other words, the reason your art
isn’t feeling quite as good as it
used to, has to do with the fact
that your life has changed.

And now, the particular art
you have always made
is no longer the appropriate
response to your life.

Understanding the call and response
of our art and life can illuminate
and clarify both.

And most importantly, it can help you
identify an overdue change.

A change that results in art that
will be more like who you are
becoming.

What might you change in your life
that could shift your art?

The answer could be a game
changer for your art.

Leave a comment
and let us know!

Hope your Sunday is going great.

Nicholas

PS Check out my friend, April Dawn Parker’s
art at www.aprildawnparker.com or follow her on
Instagram @aprildawnparker

Do you ever stop making art?

There are going to be patches
when you won’t be making your art.
Sometimes life just needs your
attention elsewhere.
Like when you have to move.
This is what I am doing right now.

But even though I am not making art,
my art practice is still showing up
in the process of remodeling my
new home.

Choosing colors and textures,
especially when some of the old,
less appealing ones remain, has
been tricky.

Here is a quick update on the bathroom,
where I have chosen colors and textures
based on the very same Art2life principles
I follow for making and teaching art.

In the end it all comes back to differences,
not just in art but also in the colors and
textures of the spaces we call home.

How does your art show up in your home?

Let us know in the comments below.

– Nicholas

PS If you haven’t yet, click here to join
the private Art2life Facebook group. In there you’ll
find a vibrant community of fellow creatives, not to
mention a ton of great art teaching content!

Make your old art new

Do you have a few duds
hanging around the studio?

Those paintings that never sold or
for some reason you grew
attached to it? I know I do.
Maybe you know the ones
I am talking about.

They probably are pretty good,
otherwise, you wouldn’t of
kept them this long.

So how do you know if it is time
to change them into something new?
And once you do, what is the best
way to do it?

I think it all has to do with how
this old work makes you feel
when you look at it.

Today, I am finally going to change
one of my old paintings.

I will also be sharing a few tips
and tricks on changing your old
art into shiny, new art.

Do you have some old
art that might be ready
for a change?

Let us know in the comments below.

Maybe today is the day.

Nicholas

PS If you are new to Art2life,
click on the link below to
get my free Color Tips PDF.

This can help improve
the color in your art.

Color Tips Download