How To ‘Set the Tone’

How To ‘Set the Tone’

My last blogpost was, “Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself.” Well, instead of fear, we need to embrace courage. A BIG DOSE helps. We need a positive attitude and MUST set the “tone for creativity.”

Sidenote: years ago, when I had no designated ‘art spot’ I’d have to pull my stuff out and put it back every time I used it. It was an added extra layer of unnecessary stress. Even the thought of all of that would weigh on me emotionally as it just seemed like a waste of my time. I wanted to be painting.

Recommended thoughts and ideas based upon past experiences:

LOCATION: Find a spot in your home (even if it’s turning an unused closet into an area with a desk and shelves) designated to be your very own space for creating. Throw some flowers or a plant there for a colorful pop.

MUSIC: it’s just ‘good for the soul.’ It creates a rhythm and flow that truly promotes dopamine (the happy hormone). I always paint to music, it is simply inspirational.

LIGHT: A candle smells yummy and fills the room with warmth. It’s a glow that lifts my spirits. A salt lamp is excellent and puts forth positive ions into your room. Amazon often has them on sale. The essential oil diffusers now also come in ones that light up as well as release fabulous natural oils with amazing fragrances into the air. Need calm: try lavender or stress relief oil. Want Summer: add orange oil and it smells like you’ve been plopped into an orange orchard or rose, for the scent of a rose garden. Need a touch of fall: sprinkle cinnamon oil and off you go with the scent of pumpkin pie. Winter is the perfect time to spread a pine or eucalyptus scent throughout your home. Goodbye stale air, hello scents of nature.

SUPPLIES: they are certainly important. I have an a range of brushes, which I normally pick up from Blick Art Store. If you have Amazon Prime, you can get something ASAP (normally in a day or two). I started years ago with acrylics. Love them!!! They are fun, easy to clean and dry quickly. Dawn soap and water are good for cleaning brushes. If you want to extend the ‘open time’ of the paint, they sell flow medium or extender. This allows you to work ‘wet in wet’ longer with your paint. If you want thick acrylics to create texture, I suggest “structured” paint, which is super thick and fabulous!!!(They also sell very thick mediums for texture. Find a salesperson at this point cause there are soooo many.) This paint is so much fun to experiment with a palette knife as one of your tools alongside your paintbrushes. Cotton rags, tissues and VIVA paper towels are great to have on hand. You can use paper plates as palettes or buy a plastic, glass or there are other various palettes from which to choose. For a place to hold your water, again, a plastic cup from your kitchen or one that has a place to hold your brushes and water. Since I sometimes paint with 4 brushes at one time, I love the places to hold my brushes. Blick has sales throughout the year and I’ll purchase 30-50 canvases of all sizes as the deal is phenomenal. I have a tax ID number as I have an LLC. So, a plus, I don’t have to pay sales tax. Michael’s also has great coupons to use on art supplies. Let both places know before they start ringing up your supplies that you have a sales tax exempt number. You may already have a favorite store.

COLOR PALETTE: endless, and I do mean endless, choices. So many artists that I love use different palettes. You may want to begin with a limited palette and expand as you become more familiar with color mixing. In college, we had to use a limited palette and it really helped our “muscle memory” of creating beautiful colors, values and intensities. Some artists choose to stick with a limited palette. I love an expanded palette for color truly is a ‘song in my soul’ and it makes me smile. This is true with both oils and acrylics, but again, these are choices that you must make through experimentation. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider googling an artist work’s that you love and find out what color palette they use that speaks to your soul. You can get started with a simple investment. You can use canvas paper (in a tablet) or wait for a sale. Another reasonable option are canvas panels. I love Gallery wrapped canvases and ampersand board.

SOCIAL MEDIA: in the age in which we live, ‘setting the tone here’ is imperative if you want your art to be shared all over the world. I’ve treated social media like ‘planting seeds in my flower garden.’ There requires dedication, perseverance, and creativity here as well. Like the seeds, your presence on social media needs to be ‘nurtured’ in order to grow. Let it tell an authentic story of you, your life, your art. Obviously, in a humble but sharing way. Folks who buy your art and may even start collecting pieces, understand they have a connection to it, you or both. It may evoke an emotional response through touching their hearts through memories shared in the past. They may simply love the color, design, texture. Your art is your soul on a canvas…it is YOU. Take a deep breath and begin with baby steps. In my opinion, Pinterest is a wonderful visual platform to share boards in which hold value to you and provide wonderful inspiration. Instagram and Facebook are both sites where folks and I have connected and they’ve reached out to purchase “a splash of my color” for their world. I’m always honored and am forever thankful that they ’embrace’ all of my colors. Tumblr, Google+ and so many other sites have beautiful imagery to get your creative juices flowing. You can google STOCK photos and free images if you need a photo reference from which to paint. Again, baby steps and BALANCE. You are ‘planting seeds’ not creating a beautiful garden in one day.

SENSES: So, have you noticed I’ve covered our senses here? Sight, sound, smell, oops, touch (don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and use your fingers for painting too). The TONE is so very important and all of it pours into YOU and YOUR PAINTINGS. I always say a prayer (or more than one) and have recently started writing in a light Sharpie marker a Bible verse on the front. Then, it gets covered in paint, but the beautiful words are a part of the piece, there hidden under layers of paint.

Your 6th sense, your INTUITION, is a gift given to many creative souls and it is very important. The importance of learning how to trust your intuition takes time and practice.

I once asked a very talented friend and an AMAZING artist in my twenties, “how do I become a better artist?” He’d lived in Italy and painted, appeared on a Master Painter HGTV show and traveled to many places creating breathtaking murals, faux finishes and canvases. He is also a creative designer. His talent has always mind boggled me. I’ll never forget his response: “PAINT, PAINT and then PAINT SOME MORE.” So, I now say to you,”JUST KEEP PAINTING!” If it is your DREAM to be an artist, as it was my childhood dream, your passion to explore color or a hobby you’d like to pursue, I say,”REACH FOR THE STARS!!!” Begin with baby steps, be your best cheerleader, NOT your worst enemy. Pretend you are 5 years old again and embrace this playful creative outlet. Feeling stressed, don’t digress, set the TONE, go CREATE and you’ll happily INFLATE your your spirit with JOY and PURPOSE. Colorful Wishes, Ann Lutz🌻🎨🌀

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