For you and us

A painting should not show us what you can.

It should show us what we can do (with it).

If a painting is about showing us your muscles, it is for you.

If painting is about our desires, emotions, mood, story, life, if it teaches us something about the world then it is art and … for us.

Time in painting

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.

Questions on Instagram II

Got a few more questions on instagram:

Do you work from home or a studio or both and why?

I have a small studio space at home were I do studies and smaller paintings. It is great to have a place nearby that I can reach fast and easy. For larger works and my main painting sessions I have a bigger studio 10 walk minutes away.

Have you ever worked in an area other than art and if so what made you want to change?

With a friend I co-founded a company selling everything we find online. We also do logistics for other online sellers. We still have the company but we are not involved in the daily business.

Over the time I recognized a shift of interest and the realization that I do want to make art as much as possible. And it is not possible by having a non art day job. So I find a slow way of quitting that did not hurt by delegating my tasks to someone else.

Do you have any qualifications (other than art skills) that you feel have helped with your work?


Business skills are crucial when you want to sell something. This goes for artworks too. There is a pipeline from the creation/production of a piece, its presentation, the deal and the shipping. It is great to know about the logistics if you want to sell a piece to a collector from the other part of the world.

Gelernt ist gelernt

In Germany we say “gelernt ist gelernt” (“learned is learned”) when someone is very good at something.

We can sometimes do something and it is good enough. Or we cheat, find a short cut or mimic a skill, but all this is short term thinking and behaviour.

Owning a skill is something valuable. Something people need at the right time. Something people will pay for.

If you can repeat a result with high quality then you have a skill.

Fear in the process

Look at your process.

How do you create?

What do you at first?

And after that?

And what do you do in the end?


Know think about how you felt in each step. Do you avoid things? Do you search for shortcuts?  Why is that? Are you afraid?

Search for fear (and it other faces) in your process and you will find opportunities to grow.

Portfolio 2

If you’ve tried yesterday’s task, you could go a step further and ask your friends, colleagues, family, or strangers (even people who are not interested in art) to question you / your portfolio. Allow them to ask you everything about it

You’ll be surprised what questions arise and how your portfolio / work is understood and seen.

Take the information you get our of these dialogs and analyse your portfolio again. Would you still put the same works together? Why not?


You may don’t need a portfolio, but creating one is a valuable exercise. Look through your work and pick the best 10 or more pieces. Curate them. Bring them in order. Find the context that connects the works. How would you present them to others? Spend some thought on this exercise and you will learn about yourself and your past, current and future work.


Defining yourself as an artist

Does it help if we define ourselves? I am a landscape painter or I do this and that.

Are we sacrificing freedom if we draw artificial limits ourselves? Or do we need them to find our true selves?
I think there is a balance between restriction and freedom that keeps us experimenting, but does not deny us as a personality.

Know when to quit

There are good timings for everything. Even for quitting.

When you think about quitting something then ask: Why do I want to quit?

For example:

  1. If you want to quit because it is too hard or you don’t see any progression then don’t quit. Quitting know will make you feel more worse. Move on. Discipline is the killer app of all professionals.
  2. If you are bored for a longer time period and you do not really like what you do, maybe you should quit now better than later. Wasting time is horrible.

Ask for the reason, then for the timing.

What if …

What if you had for one year unlimited money and time to create art?

How many works would you create?

How would they be different from your current work?

What would you try that you haven’t done before?