Do what you love most

DOING WHAT YOU LOVE MOST

is all about your attitude, enthusiasm, action and emotions….

Love what you are doing

A5 watercolour: Misty river scene.

Love starts with attitude:

Whatever you love, that is what you will enjoy doing. When you enjoy what you are doing, things generally go more smoothly because your heart and soul is in it. You are having such fun that you don’t want to stop.

Your enthusiasm empowers you. If you happen to make a mistake it doesn’t worry you so much, your enthusiasm carries you on, trying again and again until you get it right or get the effect you want.

For example, I love art so much I can’t stop doing research. If I get an idea in my head, I delve into every aspect of the subject. Like `a dog with a bone’ I can’t leave the concept alone, seeking for the truth in Nature, in the world around me. Gathering theories and seeing if they jell competitively in charts or diagrams, using word play to summarize notes.

Theory on its own is no use if you can’t use it in your paintings, so I experiment with the concept or technique physically, either proving it or rejecting what doesn’t work. That’s not all, I can’t stop there, I keep building on the concept and techniques until I have new concept or technique. The whole process gives me such pleasure that I’m always looking for more stuff to do research on. That brings me to the point:

Paint what turns-on your creativity:

If you love painting a certain technique or subject matter, it empowers your artistic intuition and dexterity. If you can’t find what you like painting most, consider:

  • What colour or combinations of colours turn on your enthusiasm: warm or cool colours, contrast or gradation of colours, bright or mellow colours?
  • What atmospheric weather conditions in any given scene pleases you most: bright sunny or overcast days, dramatic or misty scenes?
  • What type of subject matter do you prefer? Stark abstract concepts, still-life setups, birds, flowers, landscapes, marshlands, seascapes, stream or river scenes, what
  • Does size and detail matter? When you go to a gallery or museum, which do you prefer: big complex compositions or small uncluttered canvases?
  • Which artist’s work do you admire the most? What do you like about his or her style? Is it because the artist painted fine detailed work or because of their free-flowing dexterity?

Putting it all together:

Write your answers down on paper and consider the facts. And if the collective deduction of the facts builds a conceivable visual conclusion, go with that as your possible style of painting.

  • When you are happy doing what you do, your tension and dexterity loosens up and your creative powers start flowing. Once your creativity loosens up you start building your own personal style of working.
  • Painting what you like brings out the best of you and your talent glows with your pleasure. It is this `glowing pleasure’ that attracts people attention to your art. They feel your pleasure and people buy with their emotions.

Conclusive talent:

What you enjoy painting most, that will bring out the best of you and your talent glows with your pleasure. It is this `glowing pleasure’ that attracts people attention to your art. They feel your pleasure and if you rightly remember, people buy with and according to their emotions and senses. If you are aware of the emotional side of art, you will begin to see how your sales can improve.

SO YOU SEE YOUR FEELINGS ARE IMPORTANT

Love what you are doing

A5 watercolour: A little imagination and a zing of colour.

The ecstasy of creating in the moment:

If your heart is fully in what you are painting, you will find your intuitive senses heightened. You are so hyped up on the power of creativity you feel, that nothing deters you from the moment of creativity. You are actually living in the moment, a time-warp so to speak, in the scene you are creating.

Everything and everybody in the physical world is forgotten. You’re feeling the dimension and atmospheric mood and flow of colours, your imagination runs wild; it carries you on and on. The feeling is so powerful and wonderful you unconsciously don’t wish it to end. You are now living in the scene and its part of you.

Action brings results:

This state of affairs causes you to loosen up your dexterity, and to other people your brush seems to flourish as though you are wielding a wand! So much so that they think your brush has magic and desire to get one just like yours. Meanwhile you have used the brush so often that you know what it can or can’t do, and of cause your state of expertise is really enhanced by living in the moment of creativity, that is, doing what you love most.

Please let us know:

Not just me but other artists out there, how as artists have you experienced this power of creativity? How were your emotions involved? And how has your emotions affected your talent and sales?

For more about making your paintings exciting, start by checking out ‘Art and Fame‘ page and category listing.

Empower Your Creative Energy

Creative Power:

Determine where your creative energy lies.

  • Getting to know yourself and where your passion lies.
  • To be creative it’s important to see the world through new eyes.
  • How to respond to unexpected occurrences
  • And what energy you are using when painting!
Creative power & energy

A2 watercolour: Bouquet of lilies and wild flowers: This painting was a process of the mind,.One impression lead to another in the making of this watercolour.

People want dynamic solutions:

When actually in fact the answer is so simple ….that they don’t recognize the power lurking within the given advice. They read so fast that they miss the full meaning of what they have just read.

`It takes a wise and successful man to savour what he has read or heard’

 Capturing a vision:

Can’t decide what to paint for your next painting? Something that will be appealing, electrifying, dramatic enough, that people will want to buy it?

How to find that special scene? It’s a state of mind, opening your mind to all possibilities. It starts with drawing on your inner awareness, really seeing and deeply observing your surroundings. When you get excited about what you are looking at, that’s when you know where your energy lies.

 How people see things:

  • Right-brain aptitude: Most people see everything as objects. For instance “That’s a man, that’s a car”, etc. What they are actually doing is recognizing each object has a symbolic shape and colour. Like the moon is round, the sky is blue, the grass and trees are green, etc.
  • Left-brain aptitude: Artists on the other hand, don’t only see basic mass shapes, but they are also attracted to the emotional, moody atmospheric dimensions of what they see.

Seeing the world through new eyes:

Been creative means looking at life through different eyes, how you perceive and react to what’s actually happening around you.

Students have told me after a few lessons, they’ve started see the world differently. They saw colours they never saw before. Their world became an exciting vibrant place. Everything comes alive, looks so beautiful and fascinating.

 Sensitivity of the spirit:

Because artists know they can’t re-capture things perfectly as God created things, they resort to using suggestion. That is, creating an illusion of reality. And how do we do that?

We turn to using our inner spirit and see things through romantic eyes. Using all our senses to tune in to the mood, energy and vibes of what we see. Like seeing auras surrounding shapes and the intensity of colour in shadows, etc.

In plain language, artists live on a high of emotion to look beyond reality and fantasize. Re-arranging things to suit their abilities, assessing what they can eliminate or keep in their compositions before and during painting.

 But things don’t always turn out the way we expect:

If things don’t turn out the way you intend, it’s logical that you’ll have to change your original perception and adapt to circumstances. Especially with watercolours, you have to go with the flow and let the idiosyncrasy of watercolour constitutions work for you.

As the problem arises you’ll ask yourself, “What should I do now with the situation?” This requires:

  • Basically knowing the principles of composition. How to adjust objects and negative space so they relate better with each other in your composition.
  • Considering what colours you have already on your paper and how additional colours will be layered. If for example the area is already blue, but it needs to be green, that means you’ll need to add a little yellow as a wash. And it isn’t advisable adding complementary colours if you wish to keep the colours fresh.
  • Also knowing the constitutions of your pigments, whether they are transparent, opaque, earthy or grainy. And how they will interact, interlace, merge and blend to make special effects.

 Focusing your energy:

No one paints masterpieces when they are tense or tired. So how do you cope and work at your full potential?

The best way is to consider and assess your energy levels:

  • When do you have the most vitality?
  • When are your tired? In the evening?
  • When is your mind fresh? Early in the morning?
  • When are you relaxed, with peace and quiet?
  • When are you possibly alone to paint?
  • Can you re-organize your schedule, to make time to paint?

Find your passion, find your energy power:

Get to know yourself. What type of music do you like, that puts passion in your heart? What combination of colours that gets your creative `juices’ moving? What do you generally look for when you select something to paint?

  • Is it a special dramatic effect?
  • The blurring of action?
  • Gradation of colours?
  • Dynamic dramatic contrasts?
  • What? Whatever it is, that is the basis of you creative power.

Here comes the ultimate WOW Aaah-moment, when you realize where your crucial creative power really lies:

 LIVE WITHIN THE MOMENT OF CREATING. In the pure joy of the moment!

That is a powerful statement. Think deeply about it.

 Creating in the moment:

Creative power lies in switching off all your worldly cares, leaving behind the harsh reality of the world. And think and breathe only art.

Concentrating only what you are painting, in that moment. Feel the moment. Treasure what’s happening. It is your creation. You have the power to paint whatever you like.

 Your personal time warp:

Consider each painting a special event in a time warp. And that you are creating another dimension of time and space. You are capturing a capsule of time, and atmospheric conditions of a fanciful place. It’s your world, your vision, your dimension of space and form. Blotting out everything else, even negativity!

You could say: you are the stage production manager. You are directing procedures and planning maneuvers of the characteristics on the stage of your paper. No one else, YOU and the POWER you wield, to change things if you want to, to do and paint as YOU please.

Conclusion: The state of your mind is as important as the painting you are painting. Your energy, joy, self-actualization, is what brings out creative power.

If you want to know more, here are some links on this website you may want to see too:

Dealing with Art Galleries

Wishful thinking:

Just because family and friends think your artwork is wonderful, they think that all you have to do is to walk into an art gallery and wham all your paintings will sell like hot cakes!

When you hear someone say that,  do you silently screeeeeam? And think, how could they be so naive?

Watercolour landscape.

Watercolour landscape.

Dealing with art galleries: 

Getting into art galleries isn’t easy. Especially when you are a beginner, and even if you have been selling your work over a number of years. The art world is a tough cookie to crack. It’s not necessary your skill that’s in question.  There is a lot of artists out there and a lot of modus operandi protocol behind the scenes.  It’s like getting lost in a forest, it’s  bewildering.

You have to do research before going to galleries:

  • Are you fully prepared with an exceptional portfolio? Have you got an impressive exhibit CV? If not what have you got that demonstrates your extraordinary talent?
  • What are galleries selling? That is: what is the present trend? Is your art exciting and where does your style fit in with the galleries you visited?
  • If they are international operative galleries, naturally they will only be interested in renowned artists. They will expect a high part of your commission percentage.
  • What is the gallery owner like? You have to consider what future dealings with them will be like? What is his or her etiquette ethics? Did they push their luck and bully you into taking a ridiculously low commission? Respect is needed on both sides.
  • Can you handle rejection with panache? If they were rude, don’t `burn your bridges’, be polite, you never know what the future holds!
  • What price range and commission percentage does the gallery expect? What does it cost you to produce your art and what profit margin are you expecting to stay in business?
  • Are you prepared to work long hours producing new concepts on a regular basis? How many good paintings can you produce per week and per month without producing the same type of composition format over and over again?
  • Do you have appropriate social demeanour experience to handle public and media interviews? People expect artists to be interesting. That is: know how to express themselves, be news worthy, etc.

General art galleries:

If your talent looks amateurish galleries will most probably turn you away. They give all sorts of excuses. Some are polite and others are impolite. So make sure the quality of your work is up to standard.

I’ve come across some plush looking galleries, only to find them full of amateurs’ work or kitsch creations. Your first thought will most probably be, “It’s quite amazing what the public buy and willing to pay”. Another thought may enter your mind, “Perhaps it’s a relative, who has the owner’s patronage?”

Even though the quality of your work is far better than what is in the gallery, they may still turn you away, it’s because they are nervous of new unknown artists. It seems a vicious circle without a beginning doesn’t it!

Ten-one your thought is: “How do you  make it big time, if every gallery still thinks you are a beginner?”

But the gallery owner has to consider his situation. “Are you worth the risk?” they gallery owners ask themselves. Are  you a hot commodity or not? How well will your paintings sell?

Galleries’ Status:

What type of district is the gallery in? High society or medium to poor? This has an effect on the price range and milieu preferences.

What sells well in one gallery, may not sell at all in another gallery. Each gallery has a certain market niche and style of work in their shop, because it’s their clienteles’ preference. Whether it is high quality fine art, abstract, naive or ethnic, etc?

For any avant-garde gallery to prosper, it needs to be in a more influential affluent district. These galleries are well-known for a certain type of art and their clients often travel further to obtain that eminence.

Galleries in residential areas are inclined to sell more domestic compositions. South African galleries along tourist routes tend sell wildlife paintings and ethnic curio carvings. Does your style and subject matter fit into a certain milieu?

Corporate businesses want huge dynamic pictures to make impressive direct impact, in their entrance halls. Their décor advertises their type of style of business and what it stands for. It must `smell’ of wealth and success.

So make sure your credentials appropriate to the gallery you are approaching.

 What is your talent worth?

Gallery owners have huge overheads to pay to keep their galleries open. If a dealer doesn’t think your paintings will sell or that there isn’t enough profit margin, he won’t take in your paintings.

Some gallery owners are very greedy, wiry and crafty. They will try to browbeat you until you accept lower and lower prices: such low prices that it doesn’t cover the cost of the materials to produce the paintings. They are trying to see how desperate you are.

They will tell you that the present economy of the country is so poor, that you can’t expect anything better, anywhere else either!. Or their client milieu isn’t wealthy to afford your prices. Be wise to what’s happening, and if their bargaining persists, you know your work is of worth to them.

So know what your talent is worth. Check the going-price range for similar talent and set your price a little higher than you expect in that milieu, as a bargaining leverage.

Collaboration:

You need friendly workable team-ship between you and the gallery. So know what you letting yourself in for.

Personally I won’t go back to a gallery if the owner was rude and came across impatient or rude, because future dealing with them would probably be of the same nature.

Most galleries take paintings on consignment because very few galleries have backing capital to buy paintings. And because sales fluctuate they operate as art traders.

When accepting a consignment deal, remember if your paintings don’t sell you will still have to pay for the framing they put on your painting. Therefore, try to keep your paintings to standard sizes so that your paintings can be replaced by another painting of yours in the same frame.

There are two types of consignments. The other, is producing a certain amount of paintings for the gallery each month. If the amount is too much and you can’t keep up with the demand sooner or later, your capability to think up new composition concepts will dry up. You must know your capabilities and be realistic of how much you can produce in a week, let alone a month.

Some gallery owners actually provide studios and nurture their artists in order to keep sales flourishing. Mainly because the artist is really good, but very poor. Under their roof they know you are indebted to them for their generosity.

For more info on how to sell your art, check out the page Art & Fame.