Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mull it Over Monday: How to get out of your head and into your studio.

Floral Rhapsody, art that tiles.  Oil on
gesso'd paper.  Email me for more information.

Ever since I read Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now, I've been mulling over how best to apply his principles to my life and especially to my art...  As artists we can feel pulled in so many directions.  What should we paint, how should we paint it?  --seemingly simple questions can become quagmires of indecision if we aren't careful. If you find yourself thinking a too much and coming up short on studio time, here's a few pointers to get you back on track: 

  • Identify the materials and supplies that serve you best and use them. I've wasted a lot of time and effort blaming materials when what I actually lacked was proper skill and focus. Once you find materials that fit your needs and budget, stop wondering about changing up or switching out-use them.
  • Maintain regular studio hours.  Show up with or without your muse, do it again the next day.
  • When your muse does show up, enjoy it and don't waste time trying to justify your choices. You don't need to know the final outcome of everything you do. Gratefully accept it when you are inspired to paint something out of your comfort zone. I know for sure, discovering what doesn't work is a great way to finding what does.  Trust your instincts.

  • “Don’t think about making art.
    Just get it done. Let everyone else
    decide if it’s good or bad,
    whether they love it or hate it.
    While they’re deciding, make even more art.”
    – Andy Warhol
  • Keep your work space separate from your living space. A designated creative zone is crucial to peace of mind.
  • Not all artists will agree with the following and that's ok:  If you use photos for reference, print them in black and white if it helps you paint better values.  Take lot of pictures, keep them all --  Blog everything including your blunders, then put them behind you.  Photoshop is your friend and technology is good.


  1. Great advice Diane, this was just what I needed to hear today! Thanks for sharing every week!

  2. Maybe I should try just READING Tolle. I bought the book on CD and almost drove off the bridge listening to his voice! I absolutely see value in everything you posted about - except maybe I will keep the MAJORITY of my blunders off line! :D You are so generous to share these important ideas, Diane. Thank you so much. Much needed Monday talk!

  3. Really good post, and great advice, Diane. I've read The Power of Now twice, I think, and I need refreshers from time to time ;).

    What you said about showing up with or without your muse is very important. For me, I've found the process is valuable regardless of the outcome.

    Love the Andy Warhol quote, btw!

  4. I love this- its so very true. ANd your floral rhapsody would make amazing ceramic tiles !

  5. Mull It Over Monday posts are becoming my favorite and must go to post on Mondays! Thanks, Diane!

  6. Great advice. I use black & white photos exclusively and recommend the practice to everyone. I also frequently take photos in black & white mode while painting. All it takes is a quick look in the viewfinder to check values. Looking forward to more.


Diane Hoeptner Art Blog: Oh yay! A comment from YOU!!