Look at your art.
How much do you care about the opinions of others?
How much influence is ok for you?
Do you make decisions based on the opinions of others or the opinions that you think people might have?
Decide which parts of your art are not negotiable and defeat them. Let the others talk. You know what you are doing and why. If not, think about the points repeatedly noted by different people.
If you feel like you search something undefinable try to see yourself as an explorer.
Explorers explore new terrain and find something on the way. They don’t know what they find but that is not important. They want to move forward. The explorer asks what’s next.
A seeker searches for something specific but they don’t know how to find. The seeker asks how or where.
Watch what you do daily. Are there activities you spend more than 20 minutes a day on? Do you like do them? Why do you do them? Are they really (really really) necessary for your well being?
Maybe you could cut them away and win 20 or more minutes a day for the thing you like the most.
Simplify your day.
A simple day is a beautiful day.
If we can bring contrasting elements together, if we find harmony in difference, powerful art will emerge.
And contrast does not only include color, values and edges. Think always about contrast. Theme, mood, support, frame, movement and so on.
Contrast is what makes art and life enjoyable.
Repetition can be boring, irritating or exhausting.
BUT the tolerance for repeating one exercise again and again and again and again is something you cannot overestimate.
Learning is repeating.
Repeating makes hard work comfortable (over time).
Doing the hard work makes you a master (over time).
Mastering one skill open the opportunity to master the next.
Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.
A film has length, a painting has …?
How can we include time as an element in one painting or in multiple paintings?
A series of paintings can tell a story with more detail or examine a theme from more angles. Think about your paintings as a film and lead the viewer through them.
What is the story line, highlights, dips, the climax?
Give your paintings length, not just scale.
Big jumps happen when you forget that you did small steps everyday to get to this point. I think that over night successes wonder (if they watched their own path carefully), why they are one.
Progress every day.
What is the step you can make right know?
Do it know.
If you want to refresh your painting process, use different colors than you see.
If you see red, paint with green.
If you see blue, paint with orange.
If you the yellow, paint with violet.
Try to keep the values the same, but change the temperature.
If you don’t like a piece but you still see some potential then you should try to rescue the it. In worst case you lose some time and material but you have the chance to rescue the effort you already had.
Think about what is it that you don’t like. Color? Shape? Mood? Brushwork? This process of analysing will also help you when you work on the next piece.
If possible try to recognize the point when you lose a piece. The start was great, but when switched the piece from great to boring, bad, …
Try to finish a painting fast. I have ten seascape paintings nearly finished and it takes more time to finish them know than if I had done it right away.
Some paintings need to breathe for some time before the get signed, but ten? That’s a bit too much, Andy!