Autumn Equinox Reflections on Seasons & Creativity

After posting my blog on creativity (and struggles with finding or keeping it), I wanted to check in again and continue the theme on this first day of Autumn. (Read the first blog here: “2020 Hindsight”)

A huge piece of recovering my creativity in this past year and a half has been to reconnect with the natural world, especially the flow of the seasons.

Photograph from an October 2015 trip to Grand Tetons National Park

In our modern, artificially lit, air-conditioned life I think we tend to lose touch with the natural patterns of the year, of weather, of the sun, and how all of it affects the natural world around us. Modern conveniences are a definite benefit – I’m not throwing out my studio lights or my iPad – but as creative people I wonder if the disconnect from the world around us can also disconnect us from our creativity.

Read More

Experimenting with Resin – Part 2: Resin and Gold

2 of 3 ➡ See the Whole Series

Time for the resin!

Before I poured, I ran some masking tape along the edge with about 1/8″ of the tape peeking over the edge. I didn’t have the recommended ducting tape or sheathing tape, but I hoped it would keep the paper in place and stop the resin from running down the edge.

As I poured the resin, right away I could see that I had guessed right about how the paper would act under the resin. The hard geometric edges of the paper almost faded away, leaving a subtle layer of flat color and making the texture of the natural leaves and particles in the paper much more apparent.

Look at the paper under the resin and outside of the resin, completely different effect! Even the washi tape – which had “natural” colored areas – melded into the background nicely.
Read More

2020 Hindsight

As I’ve been working on scripts and lessons for an upcoming online course these past few months, something I keep coming back to is a theme of creativity and guarding our creative energy. I think this past year has been really instrumental in learning that lesson for myself.

A year ago last week, I packed up all of my paints and brushes in my temporary Arizona studio and put them in a box, not knowing that I wouldn’t really touch them much in the next 365 days. But, outside of a few commissions and some touch-ups on nearly-done pieces, I ended up not painting again in 2020.

I think a lot of us experienced a similar moment last year when we were still and quiet for maybe the first time in a long time. I realized that I hadn’t painted a painting for myself in…maybe not years. A painting for the joy of painting, not a painting for a show or a deadline or a gallery or an event. And, I also realized that the place inside of me that paintings came from kinda felt empty.

Read More

5 Ways to Kickstart Your Art – #5: Use the Tools to Your Advantage

(If you missed the previous blogs, catch up on the whole series here)

Tip #5: Use the Tools to Your Advantage

One of the things that can be overwhelming about oil painting in the beginning is the sheer volume of supplies that comes along with it. I’m a huge proponent of both starting small and simple, and also experimentation. I remember in the beginning being so afraid that I was using the “wrong” tool or using a tool the “wrong” way, but that can limit creativity so much! Painting is simply about getting paint from the palette onto a surface in an efficient way with a mark that excites you! That said, there’s a few different ways to do that…

Read More