Learning curves

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I am taking a 5-week ecourse taught by Lilla Rogers called Make Art That Sells. I am grateful to have had the Nanaimo Arts Council award me with their annual Achievement Award which helped pay for this awesome and eye-opening course.

I am currently in week 4 working in the wall art industry and really enjoying myself because this is the realm I really feel drawn to. I struggled a little bit with the weeks which I expected to enjoy (like childrens books and bolt fabric) but this week is feeling really wonderful.

The above photo is my attempt at designing some paisley plates for the home decor assignment. This was the week I realized I need to educate myself more in the world of photoshop and illustrator if I want to continue to present myself professionally.

A lot of my classmates are professional illustrators and designers so this week, focused on wall art and painting, it’s been a challenge for a few people. I spontaneously wrote up a fun little list of things I do to keep art making and painting (especially abstract or intuitive art) fresh, fun and exciting and shared this list in the private class facebook group in case it was of benefit to others’. Here it is below. Maybe you can benefit from it also. Much love!

Hi Everyone
Here are some techniques I wanted to share with you… I call it “fresh eyes”…
when I work on my canvases I can spend HOURS cramped up in a tiny space working on a spot close-up until my head spins, my eyes blur and sometimes I even lose sight of the direction I am headed in on a particular piece…
Here are some of the things I do to create “fresh eyes” for my work, all very very valuable for me, please add yours below too!

-I will force myself to stand only when I paint (as a change from sitting)
-I will walk away and refuse to look at the piece I am working on for a certain period of time. an hour, a day, a week…etc
-I look at my piece in a mirror.
-I look at my piece upsidedown
-I look at my piece sideways
-I force myself to back up and look at my canvas from at least 20 feet away
-I blur my eyes and try to not focus on the canvas surface…this is a great way to see the tonal values in a painting when painting representational too.
-Just like Lilla’s suggestion, I also work on multiple pieces at once. If I get frustrated or stuck on a piece I move onto another one or start a new project just for fun. This keeps the pressure off.
-I follow where my eyes go in the canvas (old design school trick) watch where my eyes go…does it create a “story” for my eyes? a fun journey? or does it leave me wanting more (or less?)

Once I have had time away from my piece, I will look at it with fresh eyes and I really tune into my initial responses of the piece. Does my heart jump with bliss and love at it? How do I feel about it and what could I do to make my heart skip a beat over it?? (sometimes it’s more flowers etc or an element that I really love)
thanks everyone. sending lots of wonderful creative wishes come true this week.

The middle bit sounds almost Suess-like..hahaha! Enjoy!

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