Answer this and your art will take off

Answer this and your art will take off

What do I do now? This is the burning question I hear from artists more than any other. We ask teachers, artists, friends and just about anyone who might have a clue.

But this question is not best answered by others. It is answered by you.

And that’s what today’s video is about. If you can get this right your art will simply take off.

Click on the video below to watch.

The ability to answer this question doesn’t come all at once. It is a practice. A practice of listening and collaboration with not just your intellect but your intuition too. We need both to make your art exceptional.

It begins by following hunches and the breadcrumbs of your desires. Notice what brings you alive in your art. What color is more of a Yes than others? How do you feel making those kinds of marks? Looking back at the art you have made, what is a Yes?

From my experience, the more congruence we have between intellect and intuition the better one’s art becomes.

The heart speaks softly and is often drowned out by all the superfluous noise in the room, but rest assured it is speaking. Even now.

What is your intuition telling you about your art and life?

Leave a comment below and let us know.
This might be the most important question you have answered all week.

In anticipation,
Nicholas

PS If you would like to be inspired and find others like you, please join us in the Art2life Artist’s Facebook Group.

We would love to have you join us. Art2life Artist’s Facebook Group

This will change you and your art

This will change you and your art

Ever notice you become bored in your art and life if things stays the same for too long?

We feel alive when something different shows up. It happens when the sun shines after a week of overcast days. It can happen by adding a bright pink color to a drab grey painting,

In life and art, however, the edges, the place where one thing changes to the next is especially potent. Where that drab grey suddenly shifts to bright pink is a visually powerful spot. So is where the deep blue of a sky meets a sparkly sea.

It took me 8 days lost in the middle of the ocean to learn this. But you don’t have to. I can just show you now.

Click on the video below to watch.

You can more easily improve your art once you know that edges are where the visual potency resides.

Try paying attention to the transitions between different areas in your art.
Make them juicy. In other words, let the viewers (and you) feel enlivened by change.
Do you pay attention to the edges in your art?

leave a comment below and let us know

If you are new here check out our amazing free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group. You might be amazed at what is happening in there…

Hope you have a great Sunday!

Nicholas

Paintbrushes? Who needs them…

My recent work has been made without paint brushes. For me, it makes better art. Is this the case for you? Check out this week’s video to see why…

That is what today’s video is all about. Click on the video below to watch.

It has to do with control. I discovered the less control I have, the less like me the art becomes. And this is a good thing. Having me control everything, well, feels like I am controlling everything. And that makes my art predictable.

Instead, highlighting the difference between me, the artist, and the foreign, chance marks that occur because of the tools I use to make my art, brings a freshness to the art. It makes my art in a way bigger than me.
Does that make sense?

So my question for you is:
How do you make your art without paint brushes?

leave a comment below and let us know

This same question is also the theme for the next episode of the Kitchen Table Art Project.

So open that kitchen drawer, grab some tools you might not normally use and join us this Wednesday at 12 pm PDT. We will be talking, laughing and art-making.

See you all on Wednesday!

Nicholas

PS Watch or get last weeks’ episode’s “KTAP Materials + Resources” PDF

See you there!

Why does abstracting realism make it more real?

Making something 2D look 3D is almost like magic.

A flat painting that looks realistic and dimensional can take your breath away.
However, when I tried to make my paintings more realistic by controlling the paint and using smaller and smaller brushes, my art became less realistic. It ended up becoming kind of flat.

What was happening, and more importantly why? That is what today’s video is all about. Click on the video below to watch.

Here is what I learned: My art looked and felt more realistic when I let the materials be more themselves. Then there was a contrast between just the paint and paint that looked like something real. It had both, and as a result, the art, at least to my eye,
became stronger and more seductive.

It also made it feel more real. It is an odd thing when a painting of a place can actually feel more like the actual place. In part, this has to do with imbuing it with
your own feelings about the subject at hand. I believe the realism of the art is bolstered by our own emotions. In a way, it makes the picture bigger than its subject matter. Even in life.

What are your thoughts about this?

Does the abstraction of realism make it feel more real?
Let us know in the comments below.

This same question is also the theme for the next episode of the Kitchen Table Art Project.

So grab some art materials and something from life and join us this Wednesday at 12 pm PDT. We will be talking, laughing and art-making.

See you all on Wednesday!

Nicholas

PS Watch or get last weeks’ episode’s “KTAP Materials + Resources” PDF

PSS Join the Art2Life free FB group? You won’t believe what people are making…

JOIN HERE

See you Wednesday!

What can you use again?

This time is partly about managing with less. Less driving, less shopping and less social engagements.

Interestingly, it actually doesn’t feel like less. My days feel more calm. I am noticing and discovering more. It is affecting my art, too. I am even finding and using different art supplies I forgot I even had.

This video today is about discovering new creative approaches, tools and thinking in this time. Especially in your art. Click on the video below to watch.

The colors in your art can serve as connection points for I had a stack of buckets lying around the studio and one day I started to mix my paint in them instead of on a palette. I realized that this simple approach saved me so much time walking back and forth to my palette. It also has helped me paint larger and with more spontaneity. I had no idea how much the feeling of running out of paint on my tiny palette was holding me back.

My art is now more free and fresh. I am enjoying making it way more. All of this because I repurposed some old plastic buckets.

So my question for you is: What are you repurposing to make your art?
Let us know in the comments below.

This same question is also the theme for the next episode of the Kitchen Table Art Project.

So grab some materials you don’t ordinarily use to make art and join us this Wednesday at 12 pm PDT. We will be talking, laughing and art-making.

See you all on Wednesday!

Nicholas

PS Watch or get last weeks’ episode’s “KTAP Materials + Resources” PDF.”
We also recommend you bookmark the above link just to make sure you can always find the PDFs and recordings of previous KTAP episodes.

See you there!

How do you find your wild side?

Ok, so we are stuck inside. Our lives are becoming more predictable. You might be settling into routines.

But not all of our life needs to become this way. Your art can become a place of adventure. Unpredictability and wildness can run free in your art practice. And this is what this week’s video is all about.

Click on the video below to watch.

You can take a walk on the wild side by starting your art in a much bigger way. Or perhaps allowing yourself to make something entirely new. After all, no one is watching. Go for it. Now is the time.

Maybe you are ready for something new. Something you haven’t made before.
Something bold and daring. Something all together, wild.

How do you find your wild side while stuck inside?
Let us know in the comments below.

This questions is what next week’s Kitchen Table Art Project is all about.

So grab your art and brace yourself for another KTAP this Wednesday at
12 pm PDT. We will be talking, laughing and art-making.

See you all on Wednesday!

In the meantime, stay brave.

Nicholas

PS A huge shout out to Christine who generously purchased my auctioned painting to benefit the COVID relief efforts! The community of Art2Life is deeply grateful.

PSS Click here to find episode replays or get last week’s “KTAP Materials + Resources” PDF

What is blue for you?

I almost became a marine biologist. It didn’t take too long to realize, however, that
the part of the marine world I loved was its appearance. It wasn’t so much about the science.
I just was absolutely mesmerized by the colors of the undersea world.

So I figured I could just stick to being an artist and stay in this world of color. And that’s what happened. Over the years, my art has become less about the colors of places or things but more about just the colors.

For me, color is subject enough. And that is what this video is about today.

Click on the video below to watch.

The colors in your art can serve as connection points for those who see it. What colors move us is fascinating. We all accept the fact that things are certain colors but when we
think about color itself, it requires a bit more thought.

It leads us into the world of abstraction and pure emotion. Some colors move us more than others. How exactly, does that deepening blue of twilight make us feel?

And how we see color changes over time. It is constantly evolving. Even the culture we reside within changes our perceptions of color. What colors signify or remind us of in one place, often is entirely different in another.

What color moves you and why? Let us know in the comments below.

The color of blue, now most recently imbued with the courageousness and self-sacrifice of our health care workers and first responders, is the theme for the next episode of the Kitchen Table Art Project.

So grab your colors, especially blue, and join us this Wednesday at 12 pm PDT. We will be talking, laughing and art-making.

See you all on Wednesday!

Stay creative.

Nicholas

PS Watch or get last weeks’ episode’s “KTAP Materials + Resources” PDF.

PSS Wednesday, during the show, I will be auctioning off the blue painting I will be making live to benefit the Covid relief efforts!

See you there!

Your art family…

I remember the first time my father complimented something I made. I never forgot it. It gave me the confidence to choose a life that had art as its centerpoint.

The motivational speaker Jim Rohn has famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

For most of us, especially in this time of quarantine, these are the people we hold most close. In our art and life, our successes are, to a large degree, determined by those in our inner circle.

This is what this video is about today. Click on the video below to watch.

My family has helped me and my art in so many ways. For starters they have given me objectivity. When I am always alone in my studio, it is easy to lose perspective on my art making. Those close to me can offer fresh, invaluable perspective based upon the entire arc of my art making.

Receiving support through the hard times can help you maintain confidence. When someone else believes in you, it oddly makes it easier for you to do the same.

In the end, art journeys are not ours alone. They are held, in part, by those we hold close.

How do those in your family, given or created, help you make your art?

Let us know in the comments below.

This question is the theme for the next episode of the Kitchen Table Art Project.

Join us, this Wednesday at 12 pm PDT. We will be talking, laughing and art-making.

This week, we will be having family art makers on the show!

See you all on Wednesday!

Stay close to those who are…

Nicholas

PS Watch or get last weeks’ episodes “KTAP Materials + Resources” PDF.

PSS On the cover shot of this video, I am holding a painting of my late father, Clifford Wilton. On Wednesday,
I will be sharing his artwork and some of his stories.

See you there!

Look at what we are cooking up…

Since this all began I am making less art. But I am cooking way more. Making a big pot of soup somehow feels reassuring. As I was chopping onions the other day, I got to thinking how actually, making art is not so different from making food.

Both nourish the body, soul and mind for sure. But then more connections came the more I thought about it.

And that is what today’s vlog is all about.

Click on the video below to watch.

Maybe cooking is just another form of art making. I think it is.

I practice and teach art from the perspective of differences. When something new and different is experienced, generally one feels more alive.

It could be a tropical vacation if you have been inside all winter. It could be brilliant color placed next to areas of dull color in your art. Differences in art and life are what make both amazing.

Cooking, or rather, the sense of taste works the same way. Serving a crunchy cracker alongside a hot, creamy soup brings those two differences of texture together. They go beautifully together. The acid of a lemon perfectly compliments a buttery smooth, cold pressed spring olive oil. Great cooking, like great art making, is simply great curation.

And of course there are the colors. The purple of an eggplant is practically the only purple I love. The yellow of a Meyers lemon is to die for. Nature fills her colors with compliments, making all harmonize. There possibly is no better teacher of color than Nature.

Teaching the process of art making in The Creative Visionary Program, I encourage the making of big bold changes in the beginning stages of making your art.

Getting the big picture going first provides clarity and in the end can save tons of time in your art process.
This is also how I cook. Begin with fresh, raw ingredients and boldly combine them, saving the fine adjustments more for the end. Small refinements to a painting only seem to make a difference once the bigger design and value structure is working. Then and only then can we notice and appreciate the final seasoning of the art.

These are just a few of the art, cooking connections I have been thinking about this week. I know you have more.

How does your art making connect to your food making?

let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Also, this question,
How does your art making connect to your food making?

will be the starting place for talking, sharing and creating on this Wednesday’s episode of the
Kitchen Table Art Project.

This time, Wednesdays at 12 pm PDT, is just about talking, laughing and being together. And maybe making some art at the same time.

(This week, artists will be sharing some of their favorite recipes too.)

Stay safe and creative.

Nicholas

PS If you missed last week’s episode of the Kitchen Table Art Project or you want to get the episode’s
“KTAP Materials and Resources” PDF click here.

See you all on Wednesday!

From my kitchen table to yours…

I am sitting at my kitchen table and I just made this video with my phone.
Right now, I have very limited access to my studio. Like you, I can’t do many of the things I love right now. The hardest part is that I am mostly by myself. Everything feels uncertain.

However there are three things that I can still do that I love.

The first relates to the economic meltdown in 2009. I lost so much then. However, right in the
hardest part of that time I had a thought that really helped me feel better.

I thought about my future self. I decided it was important to create something at that present time so that in the not too distant future I could look back and say “Even though that time was hard I managed to do X.” What could I create now that would turn into the silver lining of this hard time?”

Click on the video below to watch.

Well for me it was my art. I learned about the power of setting intentions. This ridiculously hard time, when all seemed lost for me, ended up teaching me some crucial lessons about art and life making. I started to share what I was learning and this is how Art2life began.
The silver lining of that hard time was the gift of this community called Art2life.

So today, I want to pose a similar question to the one I asked myself about 10 years ago. And this is it:

“What does this time make possible for you?”

What seeds are you going to plant in this challenging time that will blossom in the near future? We all share uncertainty right now. But more importantly we all share in the opportunity to create something truly amazing. It will be different for all of us, but I believe it is super important to consider.

Especially now.

Our future is the creative expression of the seeds we plant today. I love this first idea because I can work on this now.

The second thing I can still do is my art. I can’t work on the really large paintings as my studio access is limited but I can still make small things. I can work in my sketchbook, make collages, draw, write and do smaller paintings on my kitchen table.

And most importantly, I can still talk and laugh with friends. Maybe not in person but virtually. Lately I feel like I need to do more of these last two. So today I am starting something.

It is called the Kitchen Table Art Project. Each week on this Sunday Vlog I will be sharing an idea that can be a starting place for talking, sharing and creating. Then on the following Wednesday from 12-1:30 pm PDT, I will be hosting a live event from my kitchen table to yours. We can talk, laugh and maybe even share what we are making.

The question, “What does this time make possible for you?” is just a starting place for a conversation. This time is just about talking, laughing and being together. And maybe making
some art at the same time.

I think we need this more than ever. I know I do.

“What does this time make possible for you?”

let me know your starting thoughts about this question in the comments below.

Make your art.
Especially now.
Nicholas

PS I look forward to seeing you this coming Wednesday at 12-1:30 pm PDT
Bring your friends. Bring your kids. Let’s do this. You can find all the details here:
www.kitchentableartproject.com
(if the above link does not work for you, please copy and paste the URL
www.kitchentableartproject.com into your browser)

PSS Stay safe. Stay at home.
Together we can beat Coronavirus if we do.