Friday, January 10, 2014

New Year's Resolutions for Artists

I resolve to have a more creative year!  How about you?  

Here are some things I would suggest adding to your resolutions for the year, to help you be more creative:

1)  Make time and space for your art this year.  Do something every day, and try not to leave your art until the end of the day -- too easy to make excuses not to do it.

Here's my space -- Nothing fancy and kind of cluttered and messy right now . . . okay, all the time.  But, lots of art has been created in this space.

I haven't always had a studio.  But, I have made space for my art -- on the kitchen table, my lap, in an extra bedroom, the basement (on top of the pool table), a barn, on the back porch, dining room table, TV tray -- you name it.  

2)  Keep a sketchbook.  Draw, write, and paint in it as much as possible.  Take it with you everywhere.  Start a new one each year, and try to fill it up before the end of the year.

Draw or write it in it first thing in the morning with your coffee.  Or, during lunch.  In fact, draw your lunch.  Check out this blog for ideas for your sketchbook.

3)  Experiment with new watercolor techniques.  Try not to be too concerned with the end result -- just enjoy trying out new things in your painting.  Or try using a different kind of paper.  If you usually paint on paper, try painting on Aquabord or watercolor canvas.  

4)  Treat yourself to a new "tool".  Buy yourself a sable brush for your birthday, or buy a set of Quinacridone paints right now, so you can use them all year.  

5)  Go and see some real art or artifacts.  Visit museums, galleries -- maybe a different museum every month.  Go to art openings; visit public art in your town.

We visited the Denver Museum of Nature & Science last month.

6)  Take more pictures.  Do the Photo Challenge every week, on this blog.  Post your pictures on Facebook, Pinterest, or Tumblr  -- or Instagram.  Make photo books (on a site like Shutterfly --  Just the act of taking photographs will help you in your art -- with composition, ideas, lighting, editing.  And you can use them as references for your drawings and paintings.  Buy yourself a camera, and learn how to use it.  I have a simple point-and-shoot Canon, and I love it!

7)  Mat and frame at least one piece of your art this year.  Give it to someone as a gift, hang it up in your own house, or sell it!

I hope you try at least one of these this year.  

Have a happy and creative New Year!


  1. Nice post...interesting ideas!
    Have a colourful New Year! :)

  2. Lovely blog! I really enjoyed browsing and even got inspired by some of the neat techniques you have here! I will do my best to share it with my friends.

    1. Thank you, Luba! I love to hear that my blog has inspired someone -- hope you try some of the techniques and exercises I offer here. And thanks for referring my blog to your friends. I appreciate it!

  3. Hi Pat, I just came across your blog and was excited to find some of your watercolor tutorials. Which I will certainly try. I love your work.