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.

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 🙂


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  1. Nancy Darling

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

  2. 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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