I have had truckloads of tips for artists since I started painting, a lot of it has been valuable and some downright harmful. In other words I have had a normal education. I have forgotten the bad and absorbed the good. Some points really hit the spot and are truly memorable. Maybe I heard them at the right time or respected the tutor who said them, it was probably both, but whatever it was they had an impact that has given me real impetus. I have a list of my tips for artists in my studio, here are some, I hope they help you too …
My mentor and friend Topher Schink said
"Don't bother with Does it Look Right, just ask yourself Does it FEEL right?"
This artists tip has helped me so much. As his advice took hold I felt "released" from getting it right, I could focus on how it felt. It was easier to do and far more satisfying. I never looked back. I used to write it on the top of my painting so as not to forget it, I don't have to do that now, it is ingrained in me.
Every Painting is an experiment.
I hear myself saying this artists tip a lot at workshops to painters who are besotted by the need to create a good one. I say it to myself from time to time when I am in a similar mind set. This artists tip reminds me that the painting is an experiment so I am going to do something I have never done before. Experiments fail sometimes but they also lead to wonderful discoveries. I have given myself permission to fail and to make new advances in my work. What a combo?!
Alex Powers whom I admired immensely said to me at a class -
Find your passion! -
When we paint something that really interests us it shows and we feel good
This artists tip was more of a command from Alex and I am English so I don’t talk much about passion except in hushed tones 🙂 but seriously, if you think about what you really care about long before you start painting it begins to crystalise in your mind and then on paper. And they you are flying! And better, you don't have to land!
If you think your painting is getting quirky just think of the greats like Picasso and you realise you have a long way to go>
As I moved away from realism into uncharted territory I got to thinking that my paintings were becoming whacky. I was reluctant to push on and then I heard this tip. Now I can be as whacky as I like.