Red Cedar, Dunes

Red Cedar, Dunes

“Red Cedar, Dunes” oil on panel, 6 x 6”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Red Cedar, Dunes” oil on panel, 6 x 6”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

Red cedars standing strong deep in the dunes.

Cedars are one of the few trees/shrubs that thrive directly on the beach.

And one of the things that lets them thrive is their resilience.

They bend and shape themselves to the flow of the wind, each becoming a unique sculpture.

A standing sentinel on the beach.

St. Helena Sound, Storm Clouds

St. Helena Sound, Storm Clouds

“ St. Helena Sound, Storm Clouds”, oil, 5 x 5”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“ St. Helena Sound, Storm Clouds”, oil, 5 x 5”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

Even a cloudy day is interesting over St. Helena Sound. A silvery grey day with scudding clouds and soft light.

Spending a week painting on Edisto Island. Lots of changing light and the occasional early morning visitor.

Rice Fields, Storm Clouds

Rice Fields, Storm Clouds

| Rice Fields, Storm Clouds | oil on panel, 5 x 5”

| Rice Fields, Storm Clouds | oil on panel, 5 x 5”

 

I’ve been preoccupied with all that goes along with splitting my time now between Savannah, GA and Columbia, SC. Not sure why I thought that was going to be easy!

Can you relate?

But I’ve still been doing a lot of plein air work as the summer has moved into fall. Painting is one of the best ways to explore a new space and place.

And have become totally obsessed with the old rice fields of the Savannah Wildlife Refuge. It’s a beautiful, magical, haunted place.

The Savannah Wildlife Refuge. Old rice fields.

The Savannah Wildlife Refuge. Old rice fields.

Long narrow fields separated by trunks that allow the water to flow with the rise and fall of the tides.

Dikes between the fields that become hidden by the lush summer growth.

And the big wide open sky. 

Anyone else get excited about fall skies!?! 

The Savannah Wildlife Refuge. Irrigation trunk..

The Savannah Wildlife Refuge. Irrigation trunk..

3 Liberating Truths that Kill the Myth of the Starving Artist

3 Liberating Truths that Kill the Myth of the Starving Artist

Paulo Coelho: “If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule: NEVER LIE TO YOURSELF.”

So…what’s a liberating truth? It’s the opposite of a limiting belief.

If a limiting belief holds you back, a liberating truth sets you free. That liberating truth allows you to reframe the lie that keeps you stuck.

The Starving Artist Myth

You can’t make any money making art.

Successful artists get there because they were lucky.

Real artists don’t make money from their work. Making money is selling out.

So we need to release that stereotype of the starving artist suffering for the sake of her work.
 
There are actually many artists out there with thriving successful careers. Online art sales in 2018 were estimated at $6 billion.  
 
Share your work regularly and you’ll attract an audience. When you share your work regularly you will build an audience you can serve. Compelling art comes from showing up regularly and painting. Creativity is a gift we have a responsibility to share.
 
Making art to make an impact. Use the money you make from your art to make more art and have a greater impact. Remember there are as many definitions of success as there are artists.

Join my free ART+WORK+LIVING facebook group and get involved in our community of artists of all mediums, styles, and stages. This space provides a reflective and supportive space for all artists, including you! 

Click here to join and start getting engaged with artists just like you! 

Creativity Hack #7: Follow Your Curiosity

Creativity Hack #7: Follow Your Curiosity

Follow Your Curiosity
A strong driving force can be a great motivator to creativity. But some of them I hear talked about are not going to work as well as others. Market vs. Passion. Which should you pick?

So here are the two drivers I hear about the most
For the market – painting what you think people want   
Problem: it lacks passion or the emotional connection
For the passion – painting what you’re deeply passionate about
Problem: what if you don’t feel super passionate about anything!?!
To paraphrase Elizabeth Gilbert, we won’t feel passionate all the time every day. But we will feel curiosity everyday.
For curiosity – painting what you find intriguing, what excites you
Curiosities are the markers along the path to finding your deeper passions.
Practice Self Awareness
Signs of Curiosity:
  • A racing mind
  • Absorbs your conversations
  • Makes your heart race
  • You feel excitement
Journaling or sketching are great ways to start seeing the patterns around what captures your curiosity so that you can recognize the early signs, what sets off your curiosity radar. 
Look for:
  • What sparks it.
  • Patterns that cross over different subjects.
Focus on the ones that feel most compelling, that spark a sense of play.
This is how you create deeply compelling paintings rather than just technically good ones.
That’s the second stage of the painters path, the inner game of painting, the creative living that leads to compelling paintings that emotionally engage your audience.
And how you’ll find your ideal collectors, the people who share similar curiosities, the work of the final stage of that path.
We’ll be opening the doors the my signature course, THE PAINTER’S PATH, soon, but first I want to invite you to my free live online workshop that starts Wednesday, October 2nd at 4pm Eastern. 

Join my free ART+WORK+LIVING facebook group and get involved in our community of artists of all mediums, styles, and stages. This space provides a reflective and supportive space for all artists, including you! 

Click here to join and start getting engaged with artists just like you!