If you paint long enough, we all get to the place where we kinda lose the flow of our art. We paint, but it seems we might not be as excited about it as we once were, or ideas and inspirations do not seem to come along so easy. It is times like this that sometimes, for me anyway, it seems necessary to reconnect with my art passion. I might sit and watch, look at views I have seen a hundred times, or stop and think about what I am looking at in more art terms, like Composition, Value, Color Harmony, Perspective, and Possibility. To most it might seem like mindless daydreaming, however to me, it is a time to identify inspiration. It may only take a day or two of contemplating and pondering for me to find that spark again. Then, I am ready to dive into a completely new project and away I go!
Here are some things that help me to re-connect with my art passion.
1. Daily painting or Journaling. Just splashing some paint on the pages of a journal can be enough to get your creative motor running again! Try to make time as much as possible!
2. Travel to unfamiliar places to inspire new paintings. This could mean just taking a new way home from work or driving down a road that you pass by everyday. There is no need to pack your bags, although it is great if you can, just re-familiarize yourself with your own home town again.
3. Try a new medium- encaustics, pan pastels, watercolor sticks, water soluble oils, liquid acrylics, colored pencils, or acrylic inks. Just experiencing the challenges of unfamiliar materials will help you to be creative and experiment with new techniques. Choose samplers sets or starter kits to get the best value when trying out a new medium.
4. Pass your knowledge on to a beginner. Even if it is a child, you will be inspired and learn more yourself, if you are able to teach someone else!
5. Visit an Art museum or Art Gallery- There are lots of galleries, art shows, and art exhibits being presented almost every day of the week at local art museums and galleries everywhere. Check your local newspapers and publications to find out what is going on in your area!
6. Go to other artist’s studio openings or exhibits- I had the wonderful opportunity to attend an open house at Susan Crouch’s studio in Statesville, NC last year. Susan had many of her beautiful original watercolors on display at her home. There is no real comparison to viewing art in person. You can see the detail up close and with a fresh eye. I really enjoyed the afternoon with Susan and her visitors. Check local advertisements or websites of your favorite local artists to see when they may have events scheduled.
7. Join a local art league or art group in your area. Groups such as the Watauga County Arts Council, the Watercolor Society of North Carolina (Cheap Joe is a Signature Member), and many more, always welcome new members. These are great support groups that encourage the production and further education of the arts. Your participation will increase the activities and art offerings all over your community and beyond.
8. Plein Air paint- Get outside, even if just your backyard, and record all of the great things that you see. It could be a simple birdbath, or your flower garden, even your vegetable garden, with all of the nice colors and foliage. Be adventurous and get out around your area and set up a small lap studio and paint! There are several products that are suited just for painting outside like American Journey Watercolor sticks, Prismacolor watercolor pencils, and numerous watercolor field sets.
9. Blog about your artwork- Many blogsites are free. It is a great way to let others know what you are thinking, how you feel about one technique or another. Be an inspiration to others who might Be a little scared to get started. Blogging is a great way to share your art passion.
10. Facebook page- Share your paintings on your Facebook page. Share them on the Cheap Joe’s Facebook page. We love showing others what you can do! Hook up with us on Facebook today!
11. Share your art online- create a website and post progressions of your art in steps as you complete it. Email your art to friends and family and let them know they are special!
12. Get new opinions from other artists- Ask for creative critiques from artists you respect. Be open to their suggestions. A real friend will tell you the truth about your art, but you have to be willing to take the good with what also needs to be improved. Don’t take art critiquing personally, use it to improve your work. We all have room for improvement, no matter how long you have been painting! We just have to keep on growing in our art experience!
13. Plan an art night at home with your family or friends. Do something creative with your spouse and kids. Share what you love with the ones you love. Have a girl’s night out (or hang out at your house and teach them something that you just learned. Host an Open Studio Night at your house and let your friends bring their art stuff and a treat and enjoy a creative evening together. Take turns hosting at a different home each week or two. This will give you a planned time to sit and enjoy painting!
14. Hike and Sketch- get in touch with nature with your paintbrush. Get outside and reconnect with the outdoors, collect leaves and things to inspire you.
15. Set up a small studio in your house, even if it is just a corner. It is easier to find time to paint if you have a dedicated space just for your art. Make sure it is in an area of the house that allows you to leave everything out for the next time you sit down to paint!
16. Take a workshop. Check local art venues for short classes, demos, or workshops. They are often offered by art stores like Cheap Joe’s, art galleries, or even art museums. Most are reasonably priced and can often include materials in the class fee.
17. Subscribe to an art magazine. The Palette Magazine or the Artist’s Magazine are both great choices among others. These publications keep you informed on what is going on in the Art world around you. They offer art tips and demos, as well as, articles on new and upcoming artists of all mediums. You can really find lots of inspiration within the covers of an art magazine delivered right to your mailbox! Share the magazines with friends!
18. View children’s art at local libraries or schools. Support the next generation of artists by visiting art venues displaying children’s art from local schools or groups. Give encouragement to kids of all ages. You never know how your influence will change a child’s future.
19. Go to an Arts and Crafts Festival or an Artists Co-op in your area. Stroll through the many booths that exhibit locally made art by talented area artists. Support your local artists and craftsman! Art in the Park in Blowing Rock is a great example of the premium quality of the artwork produced in our area. Look for art festivals in your area, especially with the fall season approaching. This is definitely the time of year for great festivals everywhere!
20. Visit a children’s hospital and share your talent with the kids. This would take some planning, but many such facilities would welcome the extra hands on experiences that you could offer.
21. Clean out your studio and donate unused art supplies to the local schools or community/senior centers. With funding being cut from everyone’s budgets, the arts are usually the first to go. Your local art teachers and instructors would love your unused supplies or even monetary support for other needed materials. Let’s keep the Arts in our community!
22. Give to Brushes for Vincent. This charity is now a 501c non- profit organization. It is purposely for children’s groups who are in need and do not have a source for art supplies. You can help by donating to BFV, so we can give materials to these special kids!
23. Donate your Artwork to a Hospital/ or shelter. These organizations are always hosting fund raisers that would benefit from the sale of your art. They may also choose to display the art in patient’s rooms or in the hallways to give pleasure to the people who visit.
24. Send handmade cards to neighbors or residence of living assistance facilities. There are individuals within your reach that may never get mail or have visitors. You will definitely brighten their day and lift their spirits by sharing your art!
25. Volunteer to teach a class. You can teach at a daycare, assisted living facility, or for a church group. Make yourself available to the public and you will see you are a great resource for the whole community!
26. View all of the wonderful FREE video lessons on the Cheap Joe’s You Tube Channel. There are hundreds of videos on most any subject you would want to know more about. Many of them feature professional artists from all over the U.S. including Linda Baker, Sterling Edwards, Anne Abgott, Cheap Joe, himself, and more! All offering great tips and step by step demos of techniques and products of all mediums. For instant inspiration, take advantage of all of the great FREE videos on the Cheap Joe’s You Tube Channel.
27. Cheap Joe’s also has a ton of artist tips and tricks available right on our website! Just scanning through this information is sure to light up a new idea or two! There is a whole section dedicated to learning something new including an Art Glossary to help you improve your art vocabulary and understanding of art terms.
Finally, one of my best tips for inspiring creativity!
28. Flip through the Cheap Joe’s Guide to Great Art Reference Catalog. The first several pages of our catalog are covered with employee art and customer art for a reason. It serves to, first, inspire you, and then, to encourage you to create art. We know if you are inspired to paint, you will find something inside that you will need. This publication is completely free and is so chocked full of wonderful artwork, advice, and information on products and techniques, that you won’t want to recycle it when the year is over! And if you do, be sure to tear out all of the information pages and place them in a binder or folder for future reference. You’ll be glad you did! If you do not currently receive the yearly catalog or sale flyers, please request them online or by calling 800 227 2788. We would not want you to miss any of the great information found in the Cheap Joe’s Catalog!
It is, of course, always a great idea to keep a creative idea notebook with you at all times. This ensures when you do get an inspiration, that you have somewhere to save it instantly. The point is to always be on the lookout for something that inspires you and to experience a little bit of your art passion on a daily basis. It may not always mean painting something everyday, but you will at least be collecting inspiring things to paint when you do decide to. Involving the people around you that you are closest to, keeps you close to your art passion. What are some of the ways that you reconnect? We would love to know!
I hope you will be inspired to reconnect with your art and share it with another!
Happy Connect with Your Art Passion Day!
Keep your Brushes Wet and Your Creativity Rolling!