A limited palette is helpful. It makes you define your subject and think about the mood and tones. It eliminates distractions and attempts at getting objective when you are clawing at subjective. Impressions and what is felt. This was a blue day. Light blue and others.
don't set goals. set habits.
Goals are supposed to motivate you, keep you moving,… right? But here’s the thing… goals can also keep you in a constant state of underachievement. “When I get fit I will be happy, I have to get at least 10k visitors to my website a month, when I get my work into that gallery I will feel like I am successful”. Goals are very different to systems, or having a plan. You see, the problem with goals is focusing on results rather than process.
However, when we think in terms of daily habits… something very powerful happens. Whether the habit is going to bed by 10pm, working on your art every day, exercising, …habits are the little building blocks from which all successes flow.
My plan is to do what I love (painting) and (now) to try and help some people along the way. Three years ago I set 2 habits. Painting every day, and posting something on Instagram every day. These 2 habits alone are the greatest reason why I am now able to do my art full time. I did not set out to become a full time artist, it happened as a result of the habits I put into action. By not setting expectations, I’m always satisfied. I gain confidence and build from that.
What habits can you set today in order to activate your plan? .
what if it's already perfect?
Of course there’s no such thing as perfection in art. As we all know… paintings never really have an ending, they just arrive at an interesting place to stop. Leonardo said, “art is never finished, only abandoned”. But all too often when that point arrives early we talk ourselves into the mindset of “it can’t be that easy”… so we seek to improve, change, develop, experiment, push, reinvent, adapt, challenge. But… what if sometimes those very first marks create a rare and exquisite brushstroke, transport the viewer someplace special … capture the artist’s most raw truth? What if it’s already perfect?
One of the elements to consider when painting is the light source. Here the soft glow from the sky is caught and magnified in the crashing wave, the spray defusing the afternoon light to the horizon beneath the clouds. Echoes glisten on the water, splashes to balance and excite .
The show is over. The walls are empty and paintings are off to new homes or in the van. Happy, relieved and something else. What next? Straight back to work (there is plenty), have a break (not likely) renew vigour (drive for two days first) or evaluate? The empty room is like my brain. Maybe back in the studio I will recalibrate and find a new palette and pour myself out onto the canvas once more .
Diagonals frame the water road and lead to the arch. It centres off centre. Light leads back to jacaranda blue that holds the floor and echoes the arch. Fits. Piece to piece. Blue and purple. Boats ride the line .
What a wonderful day I had with my painting class at Brightspace Gallery. Visitors to the gallery on the last day had the opportunity to witness a painting demonstration and hear my artist’s talk. Thank you so much Melbourne for your wonderful hospitality! .
Life as an artist can be lonely. In the end it all comes down to the artist and the work. The work displayed and the big bare room and shoulders I hope are broad enough to cope. To carry the load. Bear. Bare .
the science of hanging
It is worthwhile to employ the best. Richard Butlin is the best. He calculates height based on the eye line of your target audience. He matched the horizon lines in the paintings, not to form a boring line across the wall, but to create an undulating cohesive vista that appeals to the subliminal senses. I would never have thought of that! A professional picture hanger who has the artist’s eye .
With the countdown on to the start of my Melbourne show, it makes me think about the necessity of exhibitions. To show or not to show? Exhibitions allow for the buyer who needs to see. Some of my clients thrive on the first hand experience of texture, colour and size of artworks, whereas those interstate will only ever see the work online before they make a decision about purchasing. What’s your experience of how an audience prefers to view your work... online versus offline? .
Richard Claremont - artist. A peek into my studio. How I think. How I paint. How I run my art business. Bite sized daily chunks of goodness. Just me talking aloud, really. Join me for a chat over a cuppa.
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