I have been an artist, making art about 30 hours a week for 2.5 years. What an honor. #blessed.
When I think back on it so far, I have made quite a bit of progress in some surprising areas. There have been a few things that I didn’t expect, ways that I have grown and truths about art making that I have learned since being a practicing artist.
I have not made a perfect piece of work in my years of making. I have made some decent work, some good work, a few great pieces, but nothing perfect. I cannot expect this of myself. I should have high expectations and standards for my work that I call finished, but I cannot expect perfection. I wouldn’t make anything if that were the goal.
making before I had any ideas:
Where do you get your ideas? Someone asked me the other day. I remember just starting out painting again and not knowing where to even start. I painted nests and birds, landscapes, and portraits, I bought art supplies and canvas sizes and shapes that were on sale, to just start making again.
I have found that the ideas come when we start, and they keep coming if we keep making. When I don’t know what to do in the studio, just some color mixing, tidying, canvas prepping, collage material clipping, or other such studio tasks usually give me the time to come up with some great ideas.
Process based art making:
What keeps me sane as an artist, is focusing on expression, play and experimentation in the studio. I just love working with materials and getting into the work. I love adding layers, pushing fluid paints, writing stream of consciousness. My work’s energy is in the making of it, the finished product is secondary.
Sales can be service:
This has been one of the most surprising things.
I am noticing that painting hasn’t only brought me healing and insight, but it has also spoken to others and brought them some beautiful reflection too. I was not expecting that such a selfish act, as painting for myself, could actually end up being an act of service to others.
Addicted to the studio:
I am also surprised by this. When I was teaching art, my own artistic practice was near non-existent. My art would call my name, but I would ignore it because I was so out of practice, didn’t know where to start and felt so out of touch with my artist. Now, if I am out of the studio for 3 days I start getting pretty antsy and have to get into the studio, even if it is just for a short time during my child’s nap.
Thanks for reading lovelies,
Anna (Olive Green Anna)
What is your biggest struggle right now, when it comes to art?