Creativity Hack #4: Look For The Extraordinary In The Ordinary

Creativity Hack #4: Look For The Extraordinary In The Ordinary

Look for the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Don’t wait to find the perfect subject. There’s no such thing as the “perfect” subject. Just paint.

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Get started with the world right in front of you.

Cultivate deep seeing and close observation.

Look for the beauty in the ordinary.

Then your gift is helping other people see the beauty that already exists in their own worlds.

How To See & Catch The Light: 7 Steps To Confidently Paint Light and Shadows With Color

You’re invited to an special free workshop I’m hosting where I’ll share the 7 step process I use to see and paint light and shadows - without chasing the light, stressing over the composition, or making a dull muddy mess with color.. If you missed this earlier now’s the time to save your seat. You can learn more here and find a time that fits your schedule.

Creativity Hack #3: Meet Inspiration Halfway

Creativity Hack #3: Meet Inspiration Halfway

When inspiration doesn’t come, I go halfway to meet it.
~ Sigmund Freud

Inspiration isn’t an act of divine genius.

It comes from the small daily acts that move us along in the creative process.

Inspiration arrives in the quiet moments when you’re doing mundane tasks…

From simply showing up to do the work.

Don’t wait around for inspiration to happen before you start to paint.

Here are some simple steps to meet inspiration half way:

1- Show up on a consistent basis

2- When feeling uninspired, do some of the repetitive tasks that set you up for creativity.

3- Detach from the outcome and put play back in to your process. Play leads to inspired action.

What are you doing to invite inspiration into your work?

Magnetic Paintings Webinar

How to Use Value, Color, and Composition to Make Magnetic Paintings

You're invited to a special free workshop I’m hosting where I'll share how you can leverage composition, value, and color to make amazing magnetic paintings. If you missed this earlier now's the time to save your seat.  You can learn more here and find a time that fits your schedule.

Creativity Hack #2: Studio Is A State Of Mind

Creativity Hack #2: Studio Is A State Of Mind

Studio is a state of mind.

One of the keys to developing your own painting practice (or any creative practice for that matter) is creating a space of your own to work in – both a physical and mental/emotional space.

Lots of people get all hung up on the physical art studio space.

Don’t let that get in your way!

It can be a physical space to work could be located away from your home, a room in your home, or even just a table in the corner of a family room.

So what to do if you don’t even have a corner where you can leave your materials out? (cause of small children/pets and such)…

Make your space a certain time frame that’s devoted just to your work.

And organize your materials so they’re easy to set up and put away.

Don’t be stopped from making by waiting for the perfect space or the perfect time.

Just get started.

Now.

Because “now” is what we have.

Studio is a state of mind.

Having a discipline actually sets creativity free. And the studio as state of mind is one of the first steps in creating that discipline or framework.

If you’d like to develop studio as state of mind I’d love for you to join me for Paint Camp 2019, Sept 12 – 15 at Kanuga Retreat Center just outside of Asheville in the beautiful NC mountains.

By the end of the retreat, campers will have a new framework for working through artists’ block, creating a painting practice where they can work confidently in flow – either inside or out in nature, and have a set of quick tools to reset their creativity when they’re feeling uninspired.

You can find more information here.

Come camp with us. We have paint camp coming up September 12th through 15th and I can't think of a better way to refuel your creativity, rejuvenate your creative spirit, and make a whole lot of new art friends.

You can click here  to get all the details.

Creativity Hack #1: Walking, The Creative Reset Button

Creativity Hack #1: Walking, The Creative Reset Button

tall pines detail painting

Sometimes you just need to hit the creative reset button…

Know what I mean?

Creativity takes a LOT of energy, and sometimes that energy is just gone.

Burned out…

You can’t be creative if your creative well is totally depleted.

I absolutely cannot create when I’m cranky…

You know that feeling, the one people call “being in a bad mood” or “feeling off”.

It usually happens when I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, and I’ve just plain burned myself out.

The truth is you can’t be at the top of your game at the easel or in life if you’ve depleted that creative well.

Here’s one the easiest things that I’ve found that help me to get over and out of myself…

To short-circuit that cranky bad mood and get back in creative mode:

The fastest way I know to reset that creative button is to get outside.

Out into nature.

One of my favorite places is deep in the woods…

Where the sound of cars disappears…

Where there’s no cell signal…

And the loudest noise is the sound of the wind in the trees.

But what if you can’t get to the woods??

In this video I talk about how I find my reset button even if I’m in the middle of the city.

“…the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Creativity Hack #1: Go move your feet. Take a walk. Get outside. Catch some sun.

We humans are designed for movement. But sometimes we forget that!

Which is a shame since it’s one of the best tools on the planet for getting the creative juices flowing.

A recent Stanford University study found people increase their creative output by about 60% while they walk.

AND you don’t have to be doing a power walk.

Strolling…

Ambling…

Rambling…

That sort of walking without a definitive purpose, like exercise or losing weight, actually is more beneficial for creativity.

Doesn’t matter if it’s inside or out…

Although if you’re outside you get the added boost of being in contact with nature.

So go get out there!

Whether it’s to the woods, or the beach, or the mountains, get out and take in some nature.

It’s one of the best ways to get to your peak creative state.

What’s your favorite place to reconnect with nature? Let me know in the comments here.

Happy Painting!
Mary

 

If you are feeling like hitting the reset button, check out PAINT CAMP 2019.

Come camp with us. We have paint camp coming up September 12th through 15th and I can't think of a better way to refuel your creativity, rejuvenate your creative spirit, and make a whole lot of new art friends.

You can click here  to get all the details.

What Artists REALLY Want

What Artists REALLY Want

I spent a week at one of my favorite conferences at the beginning of the month – a marketing conference but so much more.

One of the things that we were challenged to think about was how we define success…

And that got me thinking about how we as artists define success.

I don’t think it’s quite what people think.

So much more than just getting into a gallery or making money from painting…

You can narrow down the things most artists REALLY want to just three. And the main one is to make paintings they love.

I go over the other two as well in today’s video.

You know what!

The best way to make fantastic paintings is to paint regularly.

Forming the painting habit is so much easier when you’re surrounded by other artists who’re working towards the same goal!

When you’re an ART+WORK+LIVING Community member, community, support, training, and resources is exactly what you get. 

Becoming an ART+WORK+LIVING Community member is your access to me, Mary Gilkerson. You'll also gain access to an amazing community of artists, along with resources that my AWL team has designed to serve artists just like you. Our specialty is pushing artists to the next level of success in a positive and supportive environment. 

Click here to learn more about what my membership can offer you!

How to Decide What to Paint

How to Decide What to Paint

Hey there.

I had a conversation with one of my students this week that I just had to share because it’s one I’ve had with so many students, so I think maybe you’ll be able to relate.

What she asked me about was finding something to paint that inspired her. She was really struggling with that. She was looking for the perfect spot, the perfect place. If you ever done that, the trouble is there is no such thing as the perfect spot.

Have you ever watched a whole bunch of plein air painters at a paint out? All rushing around trying to find the prime place to paint. In reality, the best place to paint is the place where you are right now.

Don’t wait around for the perfect spot or the perfect photograph. The perfect fill-in-the-blank with whatever.

Instead, try this, what’s right in front of you. Most of the time you don’t need to go find that perfect spot or need to find the perfect subject. You just need to paint. So instead of looking for inspiration somewhere else, look right in front of you. Look and see what’s right there. Don’t wait for perfection. Just get started.

Avoid the predictable, and counteract the expected. You want to avoid the predictable. What I mean by that is that you don’t want to do the cliched subject. You want to do something that is a little bit different and that might mean that you take a different perspective. You get up above it; you get below it; you get from a funky angle; you look at it in a little bit different way; or you get up close to it or you pull way far back away from it, but you avoid the stereotypical view of it.

The other thing that you can do is to make sure that where ever you are you’re looking for interesting value patterns, because you can find that in the most mundane subject. In fact, I’m going to show you. I have just a mason jar sitting here on the table. You could make an interesting painting of that mason jar as long as you look for interesting value relationships, interesting value and color patterns.

It’s not just the subject matter; it’s what you do with it. And think about how those value patterns and the color masses are created by the light. When you do that, you can make anything look interesting because truth of the matter is everything is interesting.

It’s the attention you pay to it that makes it interesting. You can paint whatever is around you. And those of you who are my course, Catch the Light, let me turn just a little bit. You’ll recognize the edge of that building and the streetlight that’s right up there because that’s one of the modules in the course.

So it doesn’t have to be something grand, something elaborate, or something extraordinarily outstanding. You can make it that just by what you do with it.

When you’re an ART+WORK+LIVING Community member, community, support, training, and resources is exactly what you get. 

Becoming an ART+WORK+LIVING Community member is your access to me, Mary Gilkerson. You'll also gain access to an amazing community of artists, along with resources that my AWL team has designed to serve artists just like you. Our specialty is pushing artists to the next level of success in a positive and supportive environment. 

Click here to learn more about what my membership can offer you!