When You Know Too Much

It’s not everyday I fall in love with a piece of art. But, I did yesterday.

Art Story www.michelleandresart.com

Scrolling through some social media pages, I saw an illustration that tugged at my heart. It was deep with meaning and very well done. I couldn’t stop envisioning it on my wall.

Poof! With a witless click, the image was gone. I scrolled, but I couldn’t find it again. The hunt was on. I spent at least an hour launching a full-force search to locate the piece so I could seize it for my collection. I couldn’t locate the artist or remember their full name. Finally, I found someone with a similar name and sent a note. No, it wasn’t this person, but they knew who it was. SCORE! I was told, “Wait until you hear the story behind this piece. You will love it even more!” Continue reading “When You Know Too Much”

It’s Been a Busy Summer

It’s been a busy summer.

There’s been traveling, art shows, and curating and installing other artist’s exhibits.

I’ll be back soon. Summer vacation is about to end. I hope you’re enjoying the close of summer. Maybe when it’s over, we can all get some rest. 🙂

Savor the magic of summer,

11782161_10207494863919739_64633069007983764_o

 

Michelle Andres is a writer and artist. She writes this blog to share tips for a well-lived Writer, Artist, Coachlife and a finely run art business…just for you!
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Who’s Your Daddy?

Who’s your biggest advocate? Who champions your career, has your back, ferrets out opportunity that will benefit you?Advocate for yourself - create opportunity

I hope your answer is – ME! I don’t mean me…the coach, the artist, the advisor…I mean YOU! You probably aren’t comfortable advocating for yourself. Few of us are, but the truth is, you MUST be your own advocate, whether you’re a creative, a corporate person, a small business owner or a solo-preneur. No matter who you are, you owe it to yourself to be your own best advocate. It’s not a bloated ego thing. It’s a smart thing (click to Tweet).

Continue reading “Who’s Your Daddy?”

You’re As Good As Goaled

GoalsMany years ago, I opened a volume of poetry and prayers and a colourful, folded, Post-It note fell out. On this paper I had written 5 things I wanted to accomplish. I’d written them, tucked them into the book and forgotten all about them. They incubated on the bookshelf for 2 years, then, voila, were rediscovered. DONE. COMPLETE. FINITO.

Has this ever happened to you? When it does, it feels like there’s some divine purpose behind it. I’ve experienced this phenomenon multiple times and when it happens, I’m always surprised at how my life has moved in the direction of the intent. The simple act, the intention, written on a piece of paper has a kind of power in itself. It works. Continue reading “You’re As Good As Goaled”

6 Steps for Surviving the “Angsty Middle” of the Creative Process

Creative process, change, transitionChange is like an Oreo cookie. There’s a crispness to the beginning and end…but the middle is sticky and gooey.  I suspect it’s the same with the creative process.

It doesn’t matter what you create…

There’s that angsty little bit in the middle. It’s sticky and gooey,  but it isn’t all that sweet.

Our creative processes, like the muse that drives us, are uniquely ours. We can mould, form, write, compose, paint, sculpt, but for most of us, there’s that little bit in the middle where our hearts are stricken with fear and we think we’ve effed it up.

It’s a little eerie and quite coincidental that a year ago this month I wrote a post called “The Middle.” In it, I offer tips for dealing with change in one’s life. As someone who has worked extensively with human behaviour, I‘m waaaay more comfortable with managing life transitions than creative ones. In “The Middle” I explored how our takeaways from  life transitions are transferrable to other events in our lives. Now, I’m thinking they may be scalable, too; scalable down to the creative process. Continue reading “6 Steps for Surviving the “Angsty Middle” of the Creative Process”

Lessons from the Classroom

Lessons come in all forms. I’m a big believer in lifelong learning and occasional breaks, so we can recharge. I  believe we should pursue “continuing education” no matter what type of work we do. Here’s a repost from a time I spent at an art retreat – when I learned so much more than art. Since it’s “back to school” season, I figure this is worth a revisit. 

art retreatsLife can get going pretty fast. It’s easy to fall into a pattern, partake in the same old activities, see the same people each day and do the same old thing. Some people call it the “Grind.” Well, you may be stuck in the grind, or you may be enjoying the way things are…no matter, you could probably use a break.

Retreats are a nice way of taking a break. I recently took one and found it was not only good for my head, but my soul benefited as well. Here’s what I took away from a break in routine: Continue reading “Lessons from the Classroom”

Don’t Say It! – 10 Things NOT to Say to Artists

Insulting Artists
Insulted Jewish Boy Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy

Artists are a sensitive bunch. Recently, the following list of “10 Things NOT to Say to An Artist or Crafter” has been circulating on the Internet. These comments may be considered insensitive or crass to those of us in the art field. If a potential buyer were to say some of these things to you, you might have a less-than-polite reply. Take a gander: Continue reading “Don’t Say It! – 10 Things NOT to Say to Artists”

Cheap and Easy

I give it away. I’m more than cheap and easy…I’m free. Sorry, Mom, probably not what you wanted to hear.

Volunterring at Blue Line Arts
Tony Natsoulas and Wendy Nagle Installing an Exhibit – Photo by Lang Lew

I volunteer… a lot.

Wednesday I offered to help a friend install his first solo show. After arriving and finding there was considerable framing to do, I realized what I thought would be a 3-hour job was going to take all day. It was a 7-hour affair… and I was so grateful.

It might help if you had a little back-story. In the “olden days,” when I limped off the corporate battlefield several years ago, I realized I didn’t know the art industry as thoroughly as I’d hoped. Since I yearned for a well-rounded education, I volunteered – doing everything I could – so I could learn the business inside and out. Rather than enroll in more college courses, I’d earn this education with sweat, sore muscles and the uncertainty of new experiences. Continue reading “Cheap and Easy”

Mad Monsoon

Inhalation.Inspiration

Deep, exhilarating, thoughtful, inspiration.

As I consciously decide to take a break on my series of Villages, the possibilities on new work pour in…like torrential rains. A mad, invigorating monsoon of ideas, mental snap shots and dreams begging to spring to life.

It’s like drinking from a fire hose. It’s like digital information that floods your mind and you can’t get mental a foothold. “I’m drowning in inspiration…possibilities.” (Click to Tweet that).

Have you had this experience? Have you had the sheer joy of waking in the morning, rippling with excitement of what you might explore and discover that day? Have you felt like a 5 year old in your adult body, ready to pack a day full and explore every corner of God’s creative earth?

It is this little break, between creating, doing and delivering that is the sweetest space for me. (Click to Tweet)  Faced with the openness of possibilities, no searching for inspiration, but trying to catch the pouring 7 Sacred Pondsideas in a teaspoon…abundance.

How do you assimilate this? Here are some ideas to help manage muse in a mad monsoon:

  • Capture ideas in sketches – Do small studies that can become larger works in the future. Carry an idea book with you.
  • Balance new skills with existing competencies – Know which skills you have nailed down, and which ones you need to work on…use each…stretch with new ideas and skills, but anchor them to existing competencies – that way you can get a foothold and minimize epic disappointments. Epic disappointments squelch the joy of inspiration.
  • Identify ways to leverage your ideas – Can you string them together? Find a place where they meet in the middle and build on it? If there is no junction, don’t force one.
  • Work in series – You will create a comprehensive body of work and deepen your understanding of the subject matter and skills you are working to improve along the way. Learn more about series work here.
  • Let your imagination run wild – Consider the design elements and your ideas. Work through them all, consider them again and again.
  • View lots of work – by other people, by Mother Nature. Become a keen observer.
  • Find a mentor or trusted friend –  Have someone to bounce ideas off, give you gentle guidance and feedback. It’s a huge asset to have a critique group or a few trusted allies. Make sure they are people whose work and judgment you trust. They should be honest, gentle and supportive. Mean mentors will not only ruin your day, they can ruin YOU!

Munds MountainSo this spring, in the season of renewal and rebirth, I encourage you to welcome ideas as they flow, too fast to catch in a teaspoon. Mop them up with journals and sketchbooks. Catch them in a voice memo function on your phone. Drink from the fountain with trusted kin and feel free to share how you find and capture inspiration in a comment below. I welcome you to the conversation.

 

Enjoy the Monsoon!

Coaching

 

 

Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, helping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy Writer, Artist, Coachmore success in their lives. 

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Don’t Touch the Money!

 

Expectations

“Don’t touch the money!” There’s a saying I’ve heard from golfers, especially when things are looking particularly promising. “Don’t touch the money” is the warning.

I’m an artist and my husband is a golfer. There are many parallels between the two endeavors. Sometimes, at our dinner table, we banter about golf and art…truth. Consider this:

Technical Skill  –  Swing vs. Stroke

Innate Skill  –  Athleticism vs. Creativity

Mental Game –  Both require courage and a good dose of faith

Dry Spells –   I’m a spaz vs. I’m a spaz

The Journey – Both improve with practice and you can’t be further along than you are.

Happy Accidents  – Hole in one vs . Wow!!! How the Hell did I do that???

Anyhou, when playing an important golf match, it’s important not to get too sure of your skill. You think you may “win?” Don’t touch the money…don’t for one second assume you have it in the bag, because that is precisely when you pull your putt…or in the case of art…blow a large painting.

This week, I stepped back into painting joyful abstracts. I had a great thing going; you know how it is. You’re stroking the ball…er…brushstrokes are going down quite nicely.  A well-intentioned admirer steps into your studio and gazes at your piece in process. You are happily working away, your mind is free, you’re in the flow then, they utter the words of doom.

“I think that will be the best work you’ve done to date.”

Dammit! NO!!!  In my case, I didn’t actually touch the money,  but with encouraging words and undying support, my admirer opened the purse and jingled the gold – RIGHT IN MY FACE.

With that comment the stakes changed. My outlook changed. Mostly, my attitude changed.  I began to push my will all over that canvas (click to Tweet). In a moment, I was out the zone and standing staunchly in the “mine field of expectation.” BOOM! Every stroke. BAM! With each brush stroke I hammered home the possibilities of what could and clearly would not be. My painting was being dismembered focal point by focal point…stroke by stroke – HA! That was a golf pun!!!

“Golf and art are such delicate, mental endeavors that you cannot dare touch the money lest you end up a pauper.” (click to Tweet)

We may find ourselves in a deep pit, a fitful, homicidal, canvas burning rage (or is that just me?) – trying desperately to get back to where we were before; most often, to no avail.

When this happens my best advice it to stop. Our emotions show through clearly in our work. Trying too hard? Stop. Frustrated? Stop. I know it sounds cliché, but tomorrow is another day.

A set of freshly rested eyes can work wonders. A more relaxed attitude serves us well. In the scheme of things, it’s one painting, one round of golf. It doesn’t have to be our legacy. That will happen when we aren’t trying quite so hard. Because, whether you are aware of it or not, the way you live your life is creating your legacy. (click to Tweet that, too). Don’t touch the money and the riches will come in full.

You Are Already Wealthy, 

Coaching

 

Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, helping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy    Writer, Artist, Coach                                             more success in their lives. 
 
                          Follow her on  Facebook and on Twitter

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The Art of Acceptance

Acceptance“There’s a tightening that comes with the proficiency we achieve in whatever it is we do.” (click to Tweet)

We’re a lot like children, still…and I think it’s precious. Have you ever noticed how when you’re attracted to something new, if it’s something you adore, you attack it with zeal? There’s a pure joy in the simple act of “doing it.” It’s fresh and you’re simply in the moment, savoring your passion. Art is like that. So is golf or dance or writing. I’m sure you can fill in the blank regarding a passion you’ve had and you will see, in its infancy it’s free and fresh and fun.

Eventually, the vile voice of the critic creeps in the crack of the door, when you aren’t looking. Suddenly, like Adam and Eve, you realize you are naked and ashamed. You’ve eaten from the tree of knowledge. Now, you know, it isn’t good enough, you didn’t do it like last time and the bitter taste of expectation begins to taint your joyful journey.  Yep, you’ve lost your innocence. And. It. Happens.

When I taught adult learning theory to trainers, I used to teach the Dreyfus Model of Skills Acquisition. It looks like this:

Learning Self-Acceptance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, there is a path, a process that only time and experience can account for. As we continue to be active in our passion, our perception of the value of our work changes. This is how it’s supposed to be. Though, I’ve noticed, with art, it can change my relationship to not only the work itself, but my daily working of it as well. The judgment gets in the way. The expectation raises the bar. The joy of it can be zapped if I don’t manage myself around the process.

That being said, it’s in direct opposition of the idea of art itself. Art is expressive, and fresh, compelling and different. Art provokes emotion and thought. Art tells stories. Sometimes, as novices, we strive to make art like everyone else, for approval, so we know we are “in the lines” but as artists, we’re supposed to create new lines, tell our own stories. It’s a paradox.

Perhaps we can leverage the Dreyfus model, not only to help us understand ourselves, but also teach, mentor and support others. When you shine a light on what’s coming, it’s not nearly so scary and it makes us feel warm and fuzzy to be validated. Remember the sisterhood of childbirth? The brotherhood of sportsmanship? This is precisely why community is so important for artists. 

I was reminded of this yesterday when I read this in “Art and Fear  – Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking” by David Bayles and Ted Orland :

“On both intellectual and technical grounds it’s wise to remain on good terms with our artistic heritage, lest you devote several incarnations to re-inventing the wheel. But once having allowed for that, the far greater danger is not that the artist will fail to learn something from the past, but fail to teach anything new to the future.”

 So, dear souls, there you have it. Embrace the joy, feed your curious novice well as the proficient expert grows. Do the brave thing, not the safe thing. Just do art.

Be Brave, Be Naked,

Coaching

 

 
 
Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, 
Writer, Artist, Coachhelping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives. 
 
                          Follow her on  Facebook and on Twitter

For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog!

 

Series-ous Directions

Having the vehicle and directions to get where you want to go is priceless.The Weaver's House

But, what happens when we’re in unfamiliar territory?

Recently, I came to a crossroad and didn’t have a map. No stinkin’ Garmin…no road signs. Nada. Sometimes, as we’re traveling the path of our natural, creative evolution, we get lost. It may be we follow our curiosity deep into the woods and can’t find the way out.  Perhaps the shiny eyes and voices in the night murmur, ”Come this way.” “Not that, this is better.” “Since you asked my opinion…” and we actually listen to them! It’s the way with the world today.

If we tried to pay strict attention to all the information that claims to be “useful” to us, we’d  be in an over-loaded, slack–jawed, dead–fish eyed, stupor.(Try Tweetin’ that!)

Enormous loads of information bombard our consciousness daily. In the confusion of looking for a map, we’re accosted at every proverbial street corner.  I don’t know about you, but I’m unwilling to have my art career carjacked by any ol’ yahoo waving an “Pistol Of Perspective” (click to Tweet).   Lots of people claim they can provide directions…but sometimes they send you down a treacherous alley, or a dead end street.

I was stopping to ask directions when I bumped into San Francisco Artist and Acrylic Diva, Tesia Blackburn. To my delight, not only was she familiar the terrain, she honored my free will to choose my own mode of transportation.

Her advice to me – choose one design element you’d like to study. Create 50 paintings. Do nothing else. Nothing else. Explore that element, get intimate with your subject. You’ll free your mind from other bothers and you’re bound to produce some very good paintings.

Huh?

It sounded so simple…yet time consuming. It smacked of….ahem….self-discipline. What’s a lost girl to do?  Rather than straying deeper into the woods, I sought civilization. I set out to explore my element in my new series titled “Villages.”

Promo for FB Villages WMWhy “Villages?” Because my abstract landscapes held my interested, but I needed a little bit more. I want to ensure I’d stay engaged during the learning process. I wanted to tell stories. Villages…small communities where people live their lives. Families. Characters. History. Epic tales. If you’re looking for direction, start a series, as Tesia Blackburn suggests. Here it is, from the horse’s mouth (sorry, Tesia).

Artist, Kesha Bruce has her own flavor of advice to begin a series. Kesha draws quickly and with abandon – in one sitting, 100 drawings, 3 minutes each. She swears it will take you out of your mind. Something original, fresh and exciting will evolve.

Kesha Bruce uses this technique to begin all her series. It’s a potent prescription to find direction or even discover new lands. Learn more here.

Not all who wander are lost, but if you are, or if you’re seeking new direction, try a series of paintings or drawings. You might discover new lands! I’ve found success. The journey has deepened my understanding, experience, confidence and my work is improving.

So trust yourself. Let your muse be your guide.

Take your art series-ously,

Coaching

 

Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, Writer, Artist, Coachhelping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives. 

Follow her on  Facebook and on Twitter

For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog!

Walking the Tightrope

Ritual and Routine

 

When you work on your own, it’s easy to get into an unproductive rut. The demands of everyday life can pull you off track. Soon, you find, you’re taxiing kids, doing the laundry or waiting for repair people. Did you get into the studio? Nope. Take care of that upcoming marketing piece for your event? Nope. Did you write your newsletter? Heck, nope…and that’s not all. It’s not that you’re not “working,” it’s just you aren’t working on your stuff. Your life has become a circus!!!

“If you don’t spend your time delivering your own package, other people will use your time to deliver theirs.” (click to Tweet)

This kind of “off-tracking” and generosity may feel like flexibility to you, but what it really does is zap your productivity. What’s more, it can suck every bit of creativity out of you. Schwwwwooooopppp!

   

So, how do you develop a healthy routine that boosts production and allows creativity to thrive? Can your free-spirited self ever be happy with the bridle of routine? You might think it feels, well…constricting.

It’s unrealistic to expect our days will be spent doing only the things we love to do. Ooooh, did I sound like your mother?  Sorry!  Sure, the bulk of your work should be something you’re passionate about, but realistically, we all have parts of our work we don’t thoroughly enjoy. If we want to sip the sweet nectar of success, we have to drink the bitter medicine, too.

The key is to create some balance. If we only do the tasks we enjoy and put off the others, we run into a big pile of procrastination. Life can be like the bigtop, so here are some tips to get a foothold on that tightrope, and create some happy, predictable fun and routine in your days.

Start with a Solid Program – When creating ritual and routine think of the things you enjoy…what are you passionate about? This is your foundation for the day’s journey. Make sure your passions are really your own…unique to you.

Artfully Schedule the Acts – Identify your peak production hours. Schedule hard hitting stuff for the times you’re most energized. For example, if you’re a morning person, do your heavy lifting in the morning. If you are energized after lunch, schedule demanding tasks in the afternoon. Schedule your days with the activities you most enjoy in strategic time slots to kick off the day. Keep momentum by scheduling some “duties” that don’t squeal your wheels, but need to be done anyway, in between the times you’re doing the fun stuff. Need some time management tips?

Sweeten the Deal Think of it like cotton candy. If you’re doing a task you don’t enjoy, sweeten the deal by playing music you love, or performing the task in an enjoyable spot. For example, go out to the garden with your laptop to create marketing material, or play your favourite artist during your clean up phase in the studio. Sip a favourite beverage while doing your books. It works!

Be the Ringmaster – Of course, you have an audacious “To Do” list! You also have a calendar. Use them both. Schedule 60% of your time and leave 40% free for life to happen. But when you schedule it, make sure you honor your commitments to yourself and do what’s on your calendar. It’s important to schedule time in the day to take a break and recharge. This is essential to your creative flow. You can find some tips here.

Hold Regular Dress Rehearsals  – Spend time on the tightrope every day. Repeat the ritual and routine. Keep it predictable…well, as predictable as possible. Let those around you know the road you’re traveling, so you can reclaim your time for yourself and decline their requests until you’re free. If you get up everyday and repeat the same positive behaviours, you can’t help but increase your productivity and creativity. You’ll be flying through the air with the greatest of ease.

By consciously filling your days with both things you love and activities you MUST do, and being committed to the schedule, you create ritual and routine. Inform others of your plan and schedule their time separately…then they can’t clown with your calendar. Be committed to your own success by claiming your own time and stepping into the spotlight. Be the star of your own act.

Take a Bow,

Signature

 

 

Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, helping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives. 

Writer, Artist, CoachFollow her on  Facebook and on Twitter

For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog!

Habits

HabitsNuns wear habits. The Monastery of the Angels, a website of Dominican Cloistered Nuns, explains it this way:

“A “habit” tells who the nuns are.  Nuns are women of prayer who have dedicated themselves to a life of prayer, penance and sacrifice.  They do not keep to themselves the fruit of their contemplation, but share it with others.”

Plain Ol’ Sinners like us have habits that are like this…sort of. Stick with me for the stretch. I promise to try to tie it together.

Our “holiest” of habits require a commitment, sacrifice, occasional penance and the fruit they produce is shared. Good habits are a blessing that we nurture from the seed of an idea.

Then there are “unholy” habits. Gosh, where to begin? I’ve got some unproductive, self-indulgent, fear based, lazy-assed habits myself. They feel wonderful when I’m fully engaged in them, like a cuddly ol’ horse hair shirt, but I almost always regret it later. It’s like good and evil fighting for possession of my soul! You devil, Rocky Road ice cream!

They tell people who we are. They demonstrate our dedication to certain practices. Our habits reflect our values, our self-esteem, our passion, our “fire” and our mental disorders. Excessive hand washing, anyone? It’s cold and flu season, you know?  Some of us hold tight to our habits…religiously.

One thing is for sure – our habits create our days, our lives, our careers, our futures, our friends and families. They are POWERFUL! (click to Tweet).

Habits
“Wave” 12×12 Oil By Jill Christian

I was recently chatting with my art partner, Jill Christian (sounds like she would wear a habit) about the value of goals. You remember goals? I drilled you about them towards the end of last year. Jill was tossing around the idea that habits may be more important than goals for creating the lives we want. It’s a compelling conundrum. Our audacious goals need the right habits to fuel them, AND, being the hedonist I am, I think we really ought to throw in some fun, maybe a couple “soft/bad” habits, to take the drudgery from all those good habits. We don’t want to end up with too many “shoulds,” after all!

The cousin to habits is most assuredly “Time.” I’ve addressed the issue of time management.

Poor habits can gnaw away at time, the same way worry sharpens its teeth on your well-being (click to Tweet).

To create the life you desire you have to get a handle on time and use it as the starter crank to your good habits.

So, just a little communion wafer for thought, this week. Are your habits helping or hurting you when it comes to creating the life you desire? Is it time for a self-check? A couple minor adjustments? Cornette a little crooked?

Okay, I’ve said my sermon. I really not sure whether to ask forgiveness or just bow my head in reverence.

Can I get an Amen?

Coaching

 

 

 

Special thanks to Jill Christian for being a great artist and a great thinker. Thank you for contributing your beautiful artwork to this post. Find Jill at www.facebook.com/jill.christian.art  or on her website.

If you would like your art featured on my blog, please send a quality image in a jpeg format with the title and permission for use. If the appropriate topic fits your image, I’ll credit you and publish a link to your site!  

Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, helping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives. 

Writer, Artist, CoachFollow her on  Facebook and on Twitter

For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog!

 

The Problem with Shoulding Yourself

should comparisonI’ve been shoulding on myself. It’s a nasty, stinky, embarrassing business. It took me well into adulthood to break this filthy habit, and I thought I was finished with the whole, ugly mess.

But, no.

“Comparison is the thief of joy,” said Theodore Roosevelt. He was wise in so many ways. Life Hacker explores it further here.

My intellect is convinced comparison is the perfect way to verify my progress, validate my work and move forward. What kind of drooling, slack-jawed logic is that? (Click to Tweet)

For instance, if I were producing cutting edge work, creating never before seen,  mind-blowing and history-making art, who would validate that? My hubs would, for sure…but probably no one else. Being the weak-minded, approval seeking artist I am, I’d probably stop what I was doing, hang my head in shame, strike a match and burn the canvasses.

 NO!

I know better. Picasso painted shit sometimes. For me, it’s time to regroup, re-set the compass and follow one of my guiding principles… again…

Yeah, I do realize the irony here. Ahem…moving right along…

  • I will not utter the word or entertain the thought I should paint soley to please others.
  • I will not utter the word or entertain the thought I should paint solely to make money (though, I still welcome monetary appreciation).
  • I will not utter the word or entertain the thought I SHOULD be doing more, or differently, or like “X.” Art is an
    Comparison
    “New England Polaroid” Courtesy of Micah Crandall Bear

    expression of who we are. If you told me to write differently, I’d tell you to stick it right up your own “shoulder.” (um, that’s should-er…not shoulder. Everyone’s a critic).

The creative process is a freeing, often joyful, venting of the soul. How can creativity truly take flight when you’re desperately trying to follow rules set by society, groups and the muckity-mucks? They all have different opinions. The very nature of striving to please others completely interferes with the process.  When we compare ourselves to others, or even compare our previous work to our current work, it can cause issues. If worrying about the measurements doesn’t impact our work, it is apt to affect commitments we’ve made to ourselves. That being said, we do need to employ methods to move forward and grow. But, not at the expense of our art itself.

A friend, Micah Crandall-Bear, whose work I simply adore, recently posted this quote:

should comparison

 Thank you for sharing the quote, Micah. It gave me the permission I needed. Someday I should be lucky to paint

just. like. you.

Crud!  I guess everyone’s entitled to a slip now and then.

 Keep it Clean!

Signature

 

 

Special thanks to Micah Crandall-Bear for his generosity and sharing an image of his incredible work and Andy Warhol’s quote. He can be found at www.micahcrandallbear.com 

Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, Writer, Artist, Coachhelping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives. 

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Old Friends

Last weekend my public studio space was open for our local city art event. Lots of interesting people pass through…all great admirers of art…or at least admirers of the cheese, crackers and, let’s face it, probably the wine.

Old Friends
Photo Courtesy of Dianne Poinski Photography

A quiet, young woman came through with her significant other. She silently viewed the studio. She saw a favourite poem I‘d posted on the wall and it sparked  a conversation about the art and the poem. “I’m a poet,” she proudly declared. “Would you like to hear one of my poems?”

Heck yeah! She proceeded to blow me away with a poem about “Blue.” Then, she recited another and had me fully enthralled, under her spell. Her countenance changed as she “took her stage” and recited words that flowed like honey. How un-mistakenly beautiful to, once again, be in the presence of words that touched the soul with their raw honesty and stunning imagery.

There are old friends we sometimes forget. Friends like snorkeling, or poetry, or watercoloured landscapes. Friends like riding a bike, or skateboarding, or writing a poem, or breathing life into a treasured family recipe. Things we’ve left behind, for no certain reason, we’ve just moved on to other interests.  Like most old friends, reuniting feels like you’ve never been apart.

Lately I’ve had a yearning to go out in the morning with my camera and take some nature shots. At this point, people who know me are likely to have me committed. I’m not a morning person. Sometimes you get up early for old friends (click to Tweet).

I remember writing poetry myself, years ago. I threw them away…never keeping them for later. Like my paintings, usually once it’s “out” I have no need or attachment for an ongoing relationship. My artworks – they’re all one just night stands (click to Tweet).

Where are your old friends? Who are they? Are they near? Do you hear them beckoning in that space between consciousness and dream time as you drift off to sleep? Maybe it’s time to consider a reunion.

Sweetest Dreams, 

Coaching

 
 
 

Photograph of Ice Skates – Courtesy of Dianne Poinsky Photography. Find her at www.diannepoinski.com

If you are an artist who would like to have your work featured on my blog, please send me a quality image with a note of your permission.  If it is selected for an appropriate topic, I’ll use your image and link it to the site of your choosing.

Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who nudges, nay, shoves her clients in the direction of their dreams by Writer, Artist, Coachhelping them improve productivity and cultivate productive behaviours.

  Follow her on  Facebook on Twitter

 For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog!