Category: On Art Making

These ‘art’ writings are specifically about the process of being an artist. There’s advice and discussion about the process as well as some musings on the business of art.


The Future of Art Making

I think a lot about what the future holds for us. Like you, I am concerned (to say the least) for the ever changing climate. I worry about the divisive and tense politics of our times. And wealth disparity, economic catastrophes, and the kind of indentured servitude many of us find ourselves in is is […]

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On Painting

Sometimes, I’m painting and I’m just putting globs of paint onto the canvas, working it out as I go along blending it there rather than on my palate. I think to myself, “How could I really even begin to teach this? Who the hell wants to learn a process that can be so… messy!” It […]

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How To Be a Painter Part Something or Other

1. Sleep when you are tired. Naps are perfectly acceptable. 2. Eat when you are hungry. Eat good food, just not too much. 3. Paint even when you don’t feel like it. You’ll never get anything done otherwise.

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Monet, His Waterlilies, and the Creative Drive

“Yesterday I resumed work. It’s the best way to avoid thinking of these sad times. All the same, I feel ashamed to think about my little researches into form and colour while so many people are suffering and dying…” – Claude Monet. 1914. While working on his water lilies paintings during World War I. I […]

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Dear Artist

Dear Artist,Often, when asked what advice I might give to you, I say something like, “Practice!” Or, “Do it every day!” Or some such thing. Everyone says it and it’s true. But the deeper truth is – all of that is meaningless if not for one thing. There is only one real insight I can […]

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Why Art is Expensive :or: Pricing Your Art So You Can Live

First, I will say what this post is not. This is not about what gives art value. I’ve written other pieces about that and probably will again. Nor is this about, say, why a David Hockney painting sold for $90.3 million. That isn’t a question of ‘why is art expensive’ but ‘why is it SO […]

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How to be a Painter II

No one can tell you how to be a painter, that’s for certain. Better not try and figure it out either. You just have to do it. How do you breathe? Who taught you? How do you blink or how does your heart pump? Likewise, being a painter is just like that. It comes. Naturally. […]

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How to Be a Painter I

Look: you have to have complete understanding of when your hand is heavy handed, and when it is light. What that feels like, and how to hold the brush. Sometimes though you need to be heavy handed and sometimes light and you need to know that too. How to be able to hold the brush […]

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How to be a Painter III

It’s quite simple really – you just pick up the brush and you start. But when to start? Start before you get caught up elsewhere, before you get distracted, before the computer phone doorbell cat dog moth flies in your ear and whispers that there is something so important to do and is somewhere else […]

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How to be a Painter IV

or… “What works and what doesn’t” In art as in life, there is no right and wrong, good and bad, etc. There is only what works and what doesn’t. Just as in life, there is that which is incongruous to our spirits and that which is beneficial to a compositionally balanced life. Daily yoga works […]

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