25 Jun

Before the Creative Process

How Not to Make a Painting

In my absentia Eddie has offered up his writing services to do a guest post on this blog and has assured me that his article is well researched and will be of great use to artists everywhere.

I have my doubts.
However, I’m busy working on a BIG project and my back is a bit up against the wall.
I need a blog post and Ed was willing to write.
God help us all.

Without further ado, here’s Ed, unplugged.

How Not to Make a Painting

1.  Tell yourself it takes a special something to paint and even though you have no idea what that something is, it’s a known fact that you don’t have it.

2.  Tell folks you’re not creative—-that talent does NOT run in your family.

3.  Don’t make any room in your home for an easel or paints.

4.  Avoid art classes/workshops like the plague.

5.  Remind yourself how expensive art supplies are and that it would be a dirty shame to waste $$$ on them ESPECIALLY since it’s a know fact you have no talent (see No. 1)

6.  If you have a studio or place to work procrastinate on going in there.

7.  Promise yourself that tomorrow you will begin…then don’t. Make other plans.

8.  Really important to be extremely critical of your choices when you paint—-subject matter, color choices, and brushwork are all up for grabs.

9.  Second guessing is an excellent tool for getting yourself into the uncertain/ I don’t know/ I should quit now because I don’t know what I’m doing mode.

10. Don’t paint the same or similar subject matter twice in a row. Keep tackling new things each and every time insures  you have a giant learning curve ahead of you on each painting.

11. Don’t complete a painting. Ever.

12. Keep unfinished “disasters” right on hand within easy eye shot to remind you of how bad you REALLY are—-never destroy those puppies!

13. Enter art competitions regularly and believe how unworthy your work is when you get the rejection slip.

14. Be VERY miserly with the amount of paint you put out. It’s especially helpful to do this and let it set a few days before using it.. This way it will be virtually impossible to make that million dollar stroke with a nickel’s worth of paint.

15. Start projects so big and complex that you probably can’t complete it in your lifetime—-it helps to work on something so long that you are actually sick of looking at it.

16. When working, play music that gets on your nerves.

17. Make your painting area as uncomfortable as possible. Dead plants, lots of clutter so you can’t move, and a poorly lit room are great starters! (I’m sure you can think of more—-just let your imagination run wild here!)

18. Spend LOTS OF TIME ruminating about what all you are lacking to make great art. Education, time, family support, talent, steady hands, 20/20 vision, money, etc.

19. Fervently believe no one will EVER want or buy your art.
20. Work with inferior supplies as often as you are able. Old stiff brushes and bad surfaces are guaranteed painting killers.

21. Paint subjects that you don’t really care for.

22. Don’t paint things you love, see what everyone else is painting and paint that instead.

23. This is one of my personal favorites. Affirmations! Place some around your work area.
Here are a few to get you started:
I Can’t Do This!
I Dare to Imagine the Worst
When Life Gives You Lemons, Remember—-They Are Probably Full of Chemicals.
I make the wrong choice every time
I embrace the habit of criticizing myself
It’s NEVER to early to give up on my dreams

24. FEAR EVERYTHING. Risk is your enemy

You don’t have to do all of these. Just pick a few and rinse, wash, repeat.  
In no time at all you too will not be making a painting!!!

Remember the world needs LESS art and it surely doesn’t need yours.

(Can’t you just feel how empowering that statement is?? Affirmations really do work!)

Guest Contributor
Eddie Bill the Cat
A note from Dreama:  Please note that Ed’s opinion does not necessarily represent the opinions or views of myself (or anyone else for that matter).

If you actually want to paint, just do the opposite of Ed’s list
and you will be well on your way to making great art! 🙂


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  1. 😆❤ and LOL
    Eddie has been around a while and does great research!

  2. Carol Gallion

    I was so happy to hear that Eddie is still around. He and the beautiful colors you use are what brought me to your blog.

  3. Barb ryan

    I must say I love Eddie! He has such insight. My Ferrets were that way, Bogie especially. I think his favorite was if you don’t know what you want, look at mommy with the baby browns and she’ll try everything until you something hits your fancy. Also keeps her busy! Give Eddie and extra hug

  4. Happy Mid-Year to you! And thank you for your continual inspiration!!!!I am having a left hip replacement on July 22 and I am looking forward to being able to paint full time again this fall!

  5. Dear Dreama,
    So happy to hear that Eddie is a spry 18! I think of you both with a huge smile every day as I look at my “Made in the Shade” original. I know you have a birthday coming up and I hope it’s a hugely happy one! God Bless and hugs to you!!

  6. Maribeth Jagger

    Eddie, I read your thought-provoking blog to my cat, Lillie Belle, and she said I should reread your words of wisdom daily, until I have them firmly incorporated in my thoughts. She thinks you are brilliant. Thank you.

  7. I ache from laughter. OMGosh – if my cats were still around, they would also include – “Let your cats dance on your palette and then on
    the canvas! – Yes, the floor IS a canvas.” (Said as they strut away without a backward glance.) “And remember cats are absolutely fabulous at painting self portraits. An artist must love its subject.” I applaud Eddie’s words. They are not part of my own personal philosophy, but I respect his right to write and be wrong.

    I am one of your newest flock – and loved every minute our our time together in Paris. It was a dream of a lifetime for me. Last weekend I had a few of my painting pals visit for a watercolor retreat. I created a weekend to remember. Food a la Julia Child: Beef Bourguignon, Quiche Lorraine, Croissants, Macarroons at the kitchen cafe & Rustic Cherry Tart with Puff Pastry. All with salads and fruits thrown in around the baguette, cheese & wine hours. We listened to your Paris playlist and painted pink flowers. Thank you for this once in a lifetime opportunity which fills every day with delightful moments of memories from Monte Marte to Monet’s home and gardens and everything in between.

  8. Charleen diliddo

    Ed is right…those things are killers to your creative painting. He is so Handsome to be so negative. Ed is photogenic and makes a nice painting though. I like him a lot.

  9. This was funny! Thanks Eddie! I encourage you to keep on writing!

  10. Julie

    Haha! Boy, did I ever see/hear myself in this piece! Thank you for the kick in the pants 🙂 xo

  11. Dreama thank you for this article. it fits me perfectly, I have been a painter for years beginning with decorative art then moving to doing my own things..5 years ago I had to have open heart surgery. Then surgery on female parts.
    Since then I have tried to paint but just can’t stick with it. Everyday art is on my mind.
    I have in the past painted my grandchildren except for one. I have attempted to paint granddaughter but just can’t seem to do it. Like I have forgotten how. Because I need to paint her ( hubby is pushing me to do it) I can’t seem to try anything else.
    I look forward to your inspiration. Thanks for all your encouragement.

  12. Jenny

    I took Eddies list and rewrote it in a positive way. I had to. Reading this the negative way made my skin crawl. I feed and grow on the positive. I loved and soaked in every word once I changed the words to speak to me with love.

  13. I have an 18 year old kitty too named Darby. She is a beautiful Siamese (apple head) and still active like Eddie. I love your Eddie paintings and also have a black and white kitty that looks a lot like Eddie and is a rescue. I am inspired by your paintings of Eddie and have added that to my list of subject matter. Dreama, I am so inspired by you! Your words inspire me and I look forward to your Dreamette mail so much. Thanks for all you have done for me. Gratefully, Jane

  14. Thank you for sharing. Your art is wonderful. I think Eddie is so special and so beautifully painted. I am a big fan. Alice Richman

  15. pat


  16. Lila

    Eddie, you are a fabulous cat!
    I read your advice and will take it to heart (not😉).
    Especially smiled at of life’s lemons being full of chemicals!

  17. Nancy Darling

    Love this! #10 and #15 hit the nail on the head. I was LOL!

  18. June

    Oh….that adorable and adorably cheeky Eddie Bill…the artiste extraordinaire. I loved his musings the first time ’round, and today, in major need of a good chuckle, this was the perfect remedy for my bout of da blues.
    Thanks Eddie Bill, for all your…emmm…good advice, suggestions and tips…and thanks Dreama, for reminding me that smiles and giggles are so very important in this life.
    Hugs to you from across the Atlantic.

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