Friday, September 23, 2016

Artist Block

Definition - a loss of inspiration, motivation, or ideas. A creative stand-still.

Here are a few suggestions that I found helpful when I'm in an artistic slump. Because repetition creates boredom, I look for changes.

  • Change my canvas size – I usually paint in mid range sizes but lately I’ve been working smaller. I enjoy these small canvases and because they work up fairly quickly I can experiment with new ideas. And these small paintings are very popular with my customers. Always a plus. 
  • Change type of canvas – I have worked on artist quality canvas panels for years. I am now using stretched canvas, gallery wrap with a 1” profile. The edges are painted with a continuation of the painting, making framing unnecessary, unless the customer specifically requests a frame. I like the feel of this new surface and the finished look of these small paintings. And it's a relief not having to deal with framing. Another plus.
  • Change of subject – For years I was a serious still life painter. I am now working with landscapes. The technical differences between the two required me to rethink my painting process - especially the differences between the shallow picture plane and controlled subject matter of a still life and the expansive picture plane and atmospheric effects of landscape painting. 
  • Reference material – I revisit and reorganize my reference photos both printed and digital and try to find new compositions in these old pictures. I prefer to work from my own photos and always carry my camera with me, constantly looking for new material. 
  • Choosing a theme – When I can’t decide on what to paint, I try to pick a theme or a subject for  series of paintings. I am currently working on an ocean theme with waves and rocks. I have a new theme in mind that will have something to do with music, but I haven’t formulated it yet. When I tire of my current ocean series, I will move on to my new theme. 
  • Take an art class – either in person or on-line. Sometimes you need a bit of help or encouragement to solve the problem. I am currently taking an on-line figurative landscape course.
  • Join Art Groups – Membership encourages participation. A great incentive to paint. The three groups that I really enjoy are Leslie Saeta’s 30/30 Challenge offered in September and January, Bill Guffy’s Virtual Paint Out with a new destination each month and Robert Hagan’s Artist Group (now a closed group, by invitation only). They are free and fun, with no commitments and only a few basic rules. And since they are on-line, I can participate at my own convenience.
  • There are many other art groups to join, Facebook is a good place to search them out.  If you prefer, you might find an art group in your neighborhood, or start a new group with fellow artists in your area.

And sometimes Artist Block means you just need a break from the studio for awhile. The danger is in staying away for too long……

Thanks for visiting,

My Ebay Store

Leslie Saeta's 30/30 Challenge

Bill Guffy's Virtual Paint Out

My Website

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sept. 30/30 Challenge. Day 19

Today was another good day for painting and listening to classical music by Rachmaninoff.

Crashing Wave, 6x8, oil
I'm working with 6x8 stretched canvas, gallery wrap with a 1" profile. 
The painting continues on all the edges. No frames needed.

To reduce computer time, I will post my weekly paintings to my Ebay Store at the end of each week. You can always contact me directly for more information.

Thanks for visiting. Happy painting.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sept. 30/30 Challenge. Day 17

Today was a great day in my studio - cool, sunny and the windows wide open. I painted while Rod Stewart and Johnny Mathis sang and then Peter Nero played the piano for me. The house was quiet as Tony and Ginger were at camp for the day, so no cooking. 

I took a long walk in the afternoon and then checked our vegetable garden. I found that last night the deer ate all the leaves from the squash and pumpkin plants and nibbled on the vegetables so I picked up what was left. We always plant enough to share, but sometimes the deer get greedy. I should have done a bit of housework after that, but instead I went back to my studio to start another painting. Why spoil a good day!

Maine Coast, 6x8, oil
I'm working with 6x8 stretched canvas, gallery wrap with a 1" profile. 
The painting continues on all the edges. No frames needed.

This painting will be available in my Ebay Store - 30/30 Paintings.

Thanks for visiting,

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sept 30/30 Challenge. Day 15

This is yesterday's painting. I'm finally catching up.... 
Grampa's Farm, 6x8, oil SOLD
I'm working with 6x8 stretched canvas, gallery wrap with a 1" profile. 
The painting continues on all the edges. No frames needed.

If you'd like to see what Leslie Saeta's other artists are doing, here is the link to her 30/30 Challenge website Participating artists from all over the world are posting their challenge paintings to her site. And there is also a world map with location pins for all the artists.

Thanks for visiting,


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sept 30/30 Challenge. Day 11 and 12

This post is a combination of the Challenge and the Virtual Tour.

This month's virtual tour is Lancaster County, located in southern Pennsylvania on the Susquehanna River. This land, included in William Penn's Charter of 1681 is home to a large Amish community and expansive, pristine farms. This agricultural region is often called Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

The term Pennsylvania Dutch has nothing to do with the people of the Netherlands, but refers to the descendants of the German settlers and French Huguenots, along with English, Welsh and Ulster Scots, who immigrated to this region seeking the promise of religious freedom offered by William Penn.

Hay Season, 9x12, oil

Lancaster County Farm, 6x8, oil

Thanks for visiting,

These paintings will be available in my Ebay Store.

To see all my paintings from all of our virtual destinations - Virtual Paint-Out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sept 30/30 Challenge. Day #10

I'm finally catching up with my 30/30 Challenge paintings. This 6x8 oil painting is on stretched canvas, gallery wrap with painted edges. 

Twilight Glow, 6x8, oil

My Blog issues appear to be resolved. I'm sorry if you received duplicate posts this week. Google Blogger was checking their mail delivery system. I think we are back to normal now. Thank you all and I really appreciate your patience and your assistance.

Thanks for visiting,

This painting will be available in my Ebay Store - 30/30 Challenge

Friday, September 9, 2016


Dear subscriber,

We've been working on my computer issues and I have a request for my subscribers.

Would you please either message me or reply through email when you receive this post.

I really appreciate your help in this matter. It is the only way to determine if my blog mail delivery system is working correctly.

Thank you in advance for your help.