Monday, January 1, 2018


Happy New Year!
May the year 2018 be a creative year bringing you peace, hope, and joy.
May art enrich your life! 

It is that time of year when many of us reflect on the past year. I sincerely hope your year was filled with much joy and good memories. I am truly grateful that my year has been filled with many great memories, and I am looking forward with hope to 2018.

It is also that time of year when many people create resolutions and set goals for the new year. Artists often create lists of what they want to accomplish; perhaps more sales or to finally conquer that artistic challenge or maybe to create X number of paintings in the coming year. In years past I've thought about those things and even resolved to make changes to fulfill those goals. This year I made a list - a list of suggestions. A list I plan to refer to frequently throughout the year. It is not a to-do list and not a list of resolutions. The list is meant to give me inspiration, to discover new techniques, to push myself, to concentrate on the process not the outcome and on making art, not selling art. Words like experiment, explore, play, learn, process, practise, patience came to mind while I formed the list. And the word freedom...freedom to try new things with no thought to the outcome, just explore and have fun. Maybe along the way there will be a few 'happy accidents'! So without further comment here is my SUGGESTION LIST, in random order and not intended as a suggestion list for anyone but myself; but feel free to use part or all of it to spark a reinvention of your own artistic journey.

  • Try a new medium
  •  Break away from landscape - try new subject matter - portraits, still-life, animals, botanicals, abstracts
  • Try tonalism
  • Try a monochromatic palette
  •  Push the bright colors
  •  Copy the old masters
  •  Copy contemporary artists
  •  Begin a painting by painting the negative shapes first.
  •  Use a limited palette
  •  Pre-select a palette and stick to the selected colors only
  •  Do value studies - try five values; try four, try three
  •  Underpaint with vibrant colors 
  •  Underpaint with gray or umber  
  •  Under paint with reds, etc, etc
  • 25 sketches or paintings of the same subject
  • Do a 100 stroke painting, then try 50 strokes and try 25
  • Do 30 minute time limit paintings, set a timer and STOP when time is up - no going back in; try 15 minutes, and 10 minutes
  • Paint shapes only, no line, no detail, just broad strokes of the major shapes.
  • Suggest detail rather than paint detail
  • Work from life whenever possible
  • Read, study, absorb the knowledge that is within the many art books I own
  • Paint the alphabet -  A is for apple, etc.

Remember - Experiment, enjoy, keep it fresh, discover, develop, push yourself, there are endless possiblities, there are no boundaries, go places you've never gone before and take risks because there's absolutely nothing to lose.
Continually ask yourself:
 How can I use my gifts to help others?