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

Your Art is made yours by one thing…

The process of making authentic art actually begins before you even start.

What you choose to look at, think about and even remember is ultimately what makes your art yours. In other words, what you put in affects what you create.

Especially when making Art.

This is what I am talking about today.

The strength of your art, your output, is contingent on your input.

The more discernment involved in the curation of all that inspires you, the more authentic your art becomes.

It is a simple idea but one we often overlook.

Do you curate your input? In what ways?

Let us know in the comments below.

And if you are new to Art2life, click on the link below and get my free Color Tips download.

This can really help you improve the color in your art.

Color Tips Download

Hope your Sunday is great.
Nicholas

How to choose better colors, quicker.

Is it hard to choose
the right colors when
creating your art?

I used to really struggle with this.
I would spend a ton of time
changing colors and in the end the colors
I ended up with were not really any
better.

And then I started choosing colors
in a different way.

It has to do with looking at three important
aspects of color.

These are value, saturation and harmony.
Choosing colors based upon these, especially value,
can markedly change and improve your Art.

This helped my art process so much.
Maybe this approach, or even part of it,
can help you too.

If you are new to Art2life,
click on the link below and
get my free download that goes
into quite a bit more about color.

You can get it here:
Color Tips Download.

Thanks so much
Nicholas

Improve Your Life And Your Art

Our art is really just
a sequence of choices.

A series of “Yes I like this”,
or “No, I don’t like that”
decisions.

In the end it is
all about discernment.

To get good at this we need to
practice. Not just in our art but
also in our life.

Discernment is the primary
factor in making your art, truly
yours.

Focusing on discernment
in both Art and Life
optimizes both.

It can make the mediocre,
extraordinary.

Are you saying “yes” when maybe it should be a “no”?

Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for sharing a small part of your Sunday
with us,

Nicholas