The hardest part of making art is when you are not making it. And, it seems like it gets harder the closer you come to starting.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here is a simple re frame that might help you start more easily:
Starting will never be super easy. It just feels a little risky. But it turns out that uncertainty often makes great art.
And yes, this seems to work in life too. How do you overcome starting resistance? Your thoughts?
PS On April 26th we are starting our brand new, free Art2life Workshop.
To join, click below and we will notify you when we begin:
As my Father grew older he talked about how his future plans and ideas were probably not going to happen. He felt his choices in life were lessening and his world was becoming smaller. But his art, he said, was different.
When we are just starting in our art, our awareness is limited. Due to a lack of confidence, technical knowledge, and distractions, we tend to have a much narrower vision of what is possible. Our art generally reflects this immaturity.
However, as we grow older our awareness can expand. Our sensitivity can increase.
The feelings of contraction, often felt in the later stages of life, can be wonderfully offset by the blossoming growth of our art.
Click on the video below to see what I mean.
If we can shift our thinking about our art, then why not apply this same thinking to our life?
Maybe we have far more choices than we think we do.
What choices have you made that, at the time, seemed unavailable?
PS Congratulations to our A2L artists, Jeanne Raffer Beck and Patricia Chappell Bingham! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can send you your book!
PSS Jeanne, I have to know what animal you like, otherwise you will get my default Maizy dog picture!
Painting is a process of call and response. You make a mark, step back and then evaluate what to do next. Over time, your ability to discern the next, best mark improves. And when it does, your art practice becomes less stressful, and more joyful.
It sounds easy, but it repeated efforts to improve.
Here is a really good tip: When you are not sure what to do next in your art, refer to what you made previously. It’s that easy.
Click here or on the image below to see what I mean.
In art often you have to start before you know where you are going.
There are no roadmaps for each of our creative paths if they are truly our own.
But the answers are there. Just take a peek behind you.
How do you know what to do next in your art?
Please leave a comment telling us.
PS Make that comment a doozy! This week whoever posts the most helpful comment below will get a copy of Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly”
PSS I will be doing a signed animal drawing in the book so let me know your favorite animal in your comments!
I have always painted on cradled hard wood panels.
But now I am doing something different. I am stretching canvas over the panels and once the painting is done, restretching the canvas on stretcher bars.
Click here or on the image below and I will show you how.
This new support system has solved the problems of warping, high delivery costs and the heaviness of my finished art all in one fell swoop!
Although it has taken quite a while to figure this out I am super excited about this new approach to my art support system.
Maybe what I have learned can help you too.
I know many share the same challenges I did. Let us all know in the comments what has worked for you.
PS Here is the link to where you can order canvas and stretcher bars
Stretcher bars: https://johnannesley.com/
PSS If you haven’t already, I want to invite. You to join my free private Art2life Facebook group. It’s a great place to learn and connect with fellow artists.
Just click the link below…
You start off great and everything seems to be looking good.
But, then you hit that middle part of your art and are not quite sure what to do next..
You’re stuck. So how do you move forward?
Click on the image below and I’ll tell you what works for me.
The clues to know what to do next are in the marks you have already made.
Which ones do you prefer? Which ones can you cover up? It always comes back to listening to your internal voice.
And that, more than anything else, will strengthen your art.
How do you get through that hard middle part of your art?
Let us all know by leaving a comment.
PS Please join my free private Art2life Facebook group. It’s a great place to learn and connect with fellow artists.
Just click the link below…
And I’ll see you there!
Last Sunday was my Mother’s memorial. It was a beautiful day filled with beautiful stories of my mother, the warmth of friends and family and of course her blackberry fruit pies for everyone to try.
All around the room were hung photos that till my mother had passed we hadn’t seen before. Everyone remarked how creative my mother lived. She expressed it through how she cooked, how she dressed herself and her children.
We were living quite a styled life!
She never considered herself creative however. Had the world seen these photos I think she and everyone else probably would have seen her gifts more clearly.
In the end, this is one of the reasons why sharing your creativity, your art with the world is so important It connects you. It grows you and those around you too.
Could you share more of your art?
Thanks again for all of your support the past few weeks. It meant a lot to me.
Do you spend way too long working on your art all the while not liking it so much? I did too.
There is always going to be struggle in making art, but this approach I am going to share with you today really helped my process.
It is all about when and what to focus on first.
Focusing on the most important things first is a game changer for making your art.
Click here or on the video below to learn how.
I hope this was helpful…
Let me know in the comments,
What approach you use to start your art?
There are so many benefits to thinking this way that I created a helpful PDF download to summarize this new approach.
Thanks for watching and your comments too!
PS Just click on the button below to get the PDF
I just finished exhibiting my art at Julie Nester Gallery. And now my studio is empty.
Starting again feels daunting. There are just blank walls and all the paintings are gone.
When I feel this way, I remember the one thing I need to do in my art. I need to play.
It works for me and it can work for you too.
Click on the image below to watch the video and see what I mean:
It all has to do with how you start. Think of starting as a time to play.
Try doing things differently, experiment and have fun!
It’s amazing what can happen. Sure you will make mistakes, but you will also learn and likely discover something new.
Here are the three benefits to working this way:
1 Sustainability. Not following a plan feels freeing and is just pure fun. If it’s fun you will stick with it.
2 Low Stakes. When the pressure is less you can be a little more risky. You can use more of your intuition. This makes your art more like you.
3 Learning. Experimenting leads to learning growth and change. It is the key to massive improvement in your art.
This is what I do to regain my creative energy again. I hope some of this info helps you too.
Leave a comment here and let me know what works for you!
I want to thank so many of you for the kind, thoughtful comments regarding the passing of my mother, Audrey.
The past week has been made so much more bearable because of all the support this community has given me. It literally has moved me to tears. I have read every comment and card sent to me. There is such wisdom in this community. I apologize in advance if I can’t respond to everyone right away… I am trying! Interestingly, I wasn’t going to share with you the personal video about Audrey because I wasn’t sure people wanted to know what was going on in my personal life. I felt raw and vulnerable about the whole thing. In the end I decided to share it.
I am so happy I did. The amount of sharing and learning I have received from those of you who commented was extraordinary. I have never had so many people comment about anything I have shared as this one video about Audrey’s life. I learned this week that sharing challenges brings us closer and allows for connection, even though we might feel vulnerable or uncertain when we do.
This is what this week’s video is all about. Making and sharing our art even when not entirely confident takes a leap of Faith. I believe the most powerful art contains a degree of risk and uncertainty. If we can remember to cultivate this in our art process, our work not only will connect more with others but it will also feel more authentic. More like you.
And authenticity is the name of the game in creating value in art. As well as in life.
I hope your day in the studio is a good one.
PS if you have an artist friend who might benefit from this blog post please forward it along to them.
On Friday morning, after having cancer for
over 10 years, my mother Audrey, passed. I normally
make art during my week which then generates
what I share on this vlog.
However this week, especially today, all I can
think about is my mother. And so I thought I would
share with you a little bit about my 90 yr old
mother, Audrey. I will miss her so, so very much.
Please watch the video above and
help me celebrate the life of this amazing woman.
In gratitude, Nicholas