Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Talent Myth: Why perseverance and passion trump talent

talent myth http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-talent-myth-why-perseverance-and.html
As an artist and an art instructor, do you know what I hear over and over again?

“I wish I had your talent!”

Although I’m so grateful to hear that compliment, I truly believe anybody can be an artist. However, you need to develop the right mindset and learn the skills and techniques to get the results you want.


Artist Miriam Schulman painting watercolor in her home studio
Artist Miriam Schulman painting watercolor in her home studio.

Everyone was born with creativity inside of them



From the very first finger painting, you were an artist. And as a toddler, your artwork wasn’t accompanied with mind chatter that convinced you that you weren’t good enough. You painted because it brought you joy.


Anyone can develop skills to paint...
you just need to be shown proper techniques.
There was no doubt that you could do it. Then you started to notice that other children got more praise than you did when they showed off their art. In time, you began to believe that you couldn’t be an artist. You started to believe the “talent myth” that some were born with talent and others weren’t.


But the truth is...

there is something else going on here. And that is you need to have skills to get results. And to have great results you need to practice those skills. So the child who starts off as a clumsy artist can acquire the skills they need and the longer that child is willing to work at it the better they get. It is just like how you learn and acquire any other skill such as tennis, bridge or knitting.

You just need to be shown the proper techniques.

Not everyone is a child prodigy, nor do you need to be



Let’s face it. There are only a handful of child prodigies. The rest of us who achieve fame, marginal acclaim or just make a living or a hobby with painting, dance, music or sports, do ONE thing. We work at it and we don’t give up even when it isn’t easy.


My mother was a professional dance teacher and studied dance in college, but she would be the first to tell you she was always the worst one in the dance studio. How did she make it as a professional dance instructor? The answer is simple, but maybe not obvious. She simply didn’t give up or get discouraged.


My daughter is studying to be a professional musician. Although she showed an early affinity for musical rhythms and music, she didn’t begin her formal lessons in cello until the fifth grade. That is considered really old to begin classical musical training especially when you consider that Yo Yo Ma was already playing at the Kennedy Center at age 7. But she didn’t let not being a child prodigy or getting a late start at cello discourage her, and she’s on the road to realizing her dream as a professional musician.

How is she able to do this?


Because she doesn’t give up even when things aren’t easy. She works incredibly hard and spends her school vacations and summer working on her scales and technique to catch up. Meanwhile the “child prodigies” in our neighborhood...every affluent New York suburb has one...have already gotten bored of their instruments and moved on to other things.


Why consistency of effort counts



My son heads to the gym before school with his father every morning to lift weights so that he can wrestle in college. He also goes to a wrestling club to hone his skills in the off season. Every time he tests his technique during training, he’s practicing. Some days go well, others don’t, but he’s learning and getting better by being shown the proper skills and techniques. To get to the level of a Division 1 athlete he has chosen to train over the summer instead of hanging out with his friends. Any coach or athlete will tell you what makes all the difference is the consistency of effort over the long run.


I wasn’t born with “tennis” talent



I play tennis for fun with the town recreation department. I wouldn’t say I was born with any special talent for it, but lessons certainly helped. And I didn’t just take one lesson..but I take lessons each week during the summer so I am good enough to enjoy the game.


Imagine if I just shrugged my shoulders and said I couldn’t play tennis because I wasn’t born with “tennis” talent?...or I was too old to start?


artist Miriam Schulman in her home studio
But that is exactly what I hear all the time from folks who say they would like to paint but don’t have any artistic talent. Obviously you won’t see me at the US Open or even leading the town tennis team, but that’s because tennis is not my singular passion...art is. However, I am good enough to play for the sheer joy of it.


And I encourage my students to feel the same way about their art. Yeah, maybe their paintings won’t be hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art one day...(and by the way, neither will mine) but is that really the point?


The process of painting made them happy and with a little patience, practice and perseverance their art can make others happy as well.

The power of passion and perseverance




I’m in the midst of reading a marvelous book by Angela Duckworth titled Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.

As much as I would love to plagiarize and quote long passages from this text, I encourage you to unearth these treasures yourself.


In sum, her whole book is about the myth of the genius or the myth of talent. Now this may not be a new concept as Nietzsche was writing about the cult of “genius” since the 19th century. He said, ”For if we think of genius as something magical, we are not obliged to compare ourselves and find ourselves lacking.” What he means is that defining others a genius or talented lets us off the hook from working hard, but as Nietzsche and the studies have pointed out, genius and talent are acquired through hard work.


Here are some excerpts from Duckworth’s writings which I’ve been reading out loud to  my children at the kitchen table:


“When it comes to how we fare in the marathon of life, effort counts tremendously… “Grit” as she calls it is ”about doing what you love, but not just falling in love—staying in love. Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.”

Are you ready to fall in love?



I’ve heard many people say they can’t paint. What they really mean is they expect to paint like they have been painting for as long as I have, without being shown how. When you want to go from zero to proficient without skills acquired by effort and training, that frustration leaves you giving up at the beginning.


Fall in love with watercolor



If you always wanted to paint in watercolor, but have been afraid to start, I have a class at the Inspiration Place that is perfect for you.  

Taking an online class is the perfect way to learn at your own pace within the privacy of your home.


In Watercolor Secrets you will learn techniques through step-by-step instruction, and you can practice at your own pace and develop the skills you need to let your creativity soar.

Have you already taken Watercolor Secrets?

If you have already taken Watercolor Secrets and are looking for a new challenge, may I suggest you join one of these watercolor classes which have open registration?

Click on each picture for more information.

In Case We Haven't Met Yet...

handcrafted handmade holidays gifts http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/07/why-handcrafted-still-matters.html
Hello! I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.

My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not working on art in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net


Now I want to hear from you…
Have you ever had a time in your life when you have achieved success through grit and determination?

Read More »

Monday, July 18, 2016

why handcrafted still matters

handcrafted handmade holidays gifts http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/07/why-handcrafted-still-matters.html
This summer, I stayed with family in Portland, Oregon. My cousin showed me a grand ole time while I tried to not make more work for his wife who was already quite busy with three young children. Over dinner, she asked me about the kind of art I create. I encouraged her to open the hostess gift since my “art was inside.”

handcrafted handmade holidays gifts http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/07/why-handcrafted-still-matters.html
Earlier she had tossed it aside while she made my bed. My heart sank as it sunk in that although my cousin, her husband, had insisted there was plenty of room for me to stay with them for the weekend, my stay meant that all five of them would be sharing a bedroom.

However, after she learned that the gift was personal, she immediately went to open it. I had carefully wrapped my gift in the same colored tissue paper and patterned washi tape I use to wrap all of my Etsy sales and added a hand sewn card on the top. (The card was a print with gold stitching around it.) Inside, she found a peacock apron, a patriotic cosmetic bag set, and a bar of French soap. (I did not make the soap, but thought it made everything smell better.)

As she marveled at each piece, I felt relief wash over me that I chose something that she liked and made my visit more welcome. I’m glad that I gave her more than just the soap.

Meaningful Handmade Gifts


In our “Buy Now” culture where we can get manufactured gifts delivered in two days from Amazon with a simple click of a mouse, giving and getting a handmade gift has become a rare phenomenon.

That’s why when I receive a handmade gift these days it is incredibly meaningful.

I always prefer handmade gifts over store bought.

cosmetic bag https://www.etsy.com/shop/mimistudio?search_query=cosmetic+bag
see all cosmetic bags HERE
Maybe it was my grandparents’ influence over the years. They insisted on receiving handmade cards from me each year for every occasion to mark events. For my grandfather’s father’s day and birthday cards, I would include some handmade puzzles, or I would illustrate his favorite poems.

My grandmothers always loved my art on a card, and my mother still treasures the treats I send her from my CafePress shop, such as the glass cutting board, printed napkins, or the apron from my shop.

But, I know the reasons why many of us resort to store-bought gifts.

We’re too busy to handcraft something. We give in to gift cards since our loved ones “have everything anyway.” Or sometimes their wish list is so specific with must-haves, we feel they would be disappointed with a handmade gift.

Whatever your reasons for running to the store for all gift-giving occasions, I’d like to convince you to try something new this year. Find the joy in creating handmade gifts from the heart!

Here are just a few reasons to give it a go:

handcrafted handmade holidays gifts http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/07/why-handcrafted-still-matters.html
1. {Your} Time is Priceless


Although finding the time to create a handmade gift might be the very reason that’s holding you back, it’s also the very reason a handmade gift is priceless. Your time is valuable and when you give your time to create a handmade gift, the result is very valuable to the person who receives it.


2. Truly One-of-a-Kind


There’s not a more economical way to give a truly one-of-kind gift than creating it by hand. For that person on your list who has everything, a handmade gift is the perfect option. It offers the ultimate in personalization, because you can hand-select the perfect colors and elements for each recipient.

handcrafted handmade holidays gifts http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/07/why-handcrafted-still-matters.html
3. Environmentally Friendly


Most, if not all, handmade gifts you could think to give are better for the environment than store-bought gifts. The carbon footprint of your gift is reduced because it wasn’t made halfway around the world, it wasn’t transported to a retail store, and you didn’t need to spend hours traveling to and from the store to complete your shopping list. Some handmade items reuse materials that you might already have on hand, increasing the green value of homemade gifts.

womens aprons https://www.etsy.com/shop/mimistudio?search_query=apron
see current aprons for sale HERE (for cooks and crafters)
4. Save Money


Most of the time, you will spend less money when you give a handmade gift, but its ultimate value is higher due to the time you gave to create it.

5. Handmade Gifts become Family Heirlooms


I am not sure I remember anymore who gave me which crystal platter for my wedding as I received so many and they all blend into each other. But I definitely remember special handmade gifts like the baby blanket given to me by my grandmother’s best friend or the sweaters she made for me and my children. The blanket and the sweaters have been lovingly stored away while the onesies and outfits from Baby Gap went to the Salvation Army years ago.

Handcrafted for the Holidays


handcrafted handmade holidays gifts http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/07/why-handcrafted-still-matters.html
Are you ready to create your own handmade gifts from the heart?

This fall, I am launching a course called Handcrafted Holidays where I have invited nine other artists to teach handcrafted goodies that you can use to decorate your home or to create as gifts for the holidays.

All the gifts can be adapted for Christmas or Hanukkah (or any other occasion). Since we are still creating the course, I would love your input.

Please tell me what you’d like to learn about making handmade holiday gifts by completing this survey. Since your time is valuable, everyone who completes the survey will be entered to win the Handcrafted Holidays course for free. There will be one lucky winner and no purchase is necessary.



click here to take survey and enter for your chance to win the class for free


In Case We Haven't Met Yet...

handcrafted handmade holidays gifts http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/07/why-handcrafted-still-matters.html
Hello! I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.

My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not working on art in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net



Let's Discuss!


How do you feel about giving or receiving handmade gifts?

Read More »

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

5 life lessons from animals (art & poetry)

animal art http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/07/5-life-lessons-from-animals-art-poetry.html
The reason I became an artist was that I am most comfortable communicating my thoughts and feelings visually. However, since I am often asked to explain my art through the written and spoken word, I am sometimes at a loss for how to translate them into something equally meaningful.

We can learn a lot from art


When preparing for my last solo art show, I stumbled across the following poem, “Straight Talk from a Fox” by Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets. The poem was the perfect counterpoint for my fox painting “Dandelion Wishes” which will be part of the juried show and fundraiser “Rescue Me” at transFORM Gallery in New Rochelle from July 9-Sept. 24, 2016.
fox art for sale http://www.miriamschulmanstudio.com/catalog/item/3250630/10256326.htm

Here is the poem in full so you can enjoy the beauty of the words.


Straight Talk from a Fox by Mary Oliver


Listen says fox it is music to run
over the hills to lick
dew from the leaves to nose along
the edges of the ponds to smell the fat
ducks in their bright feathers but
far out, safe in their rafts of
sleep. It is like
music to visit the orchard, to find
the vole sucking the sweet of the apple, or the
rabbit with his fast-beating heart. Death itself
is a music. Nobody has ever come close to
writing it down, awake or in a dream. It cannot
be told. It is flesh and bones
changing shape and with good cause, mercy
is a little child beside such an invention. It is
music to wander the black back roads
outside of town no one awake or wondering
if anything miraculous is ever going to
happen, totally dumb to the fact of every
moment’s miracle. Don’t think I haven’t
peeked into windows. I see you in all your seasons
making love, arguing, talking about God
as if he were an idea instead of the grass,
instead of the stars, the rabbit caught
in one good teeth-whacking hit and brought
home to the den. What I am, and I know it, is
responsible, joyful, thankful. I would not
give my life for a thousand of yours.


Circle of life


This poem about the circle of life and the fox’s interpretation of the human condition resonated with me. Maybe it’s because I have long admired the inquisitive mind of the fox and the nocturnal creature’s use of subtlety and cunning. As a smaller carnivore, it can’t compete on brute force alone, and prefers to stay behind the scenes. Plus, foxes are incredibly adaptable animals. This adaptability allows them to be successful in many environments.

cat art for sale https://www.etsy.com/shop/mimistudio?search_query=cat
Ebony's Bath  →collect cat art

If we’re just willing to listen and observe, we can find meaningful life lessons in poems, artwork and other creatures.

We can learn a lot of valuable life lessons from animals. It’s one of the main reasons I paint them and Mary Oliver writes about them.


Our pets love us unconditionally and yet, they don’t care what people think. They go about each day’s activities with zeal (my cat has elaborate rituals for each part of the day). They use all of their senses to survive and thrive in their world, and they stay mindful in every moment.

pig art for sale https://www.etsy.com/shop/mimistudio?search_query=pig5 Life Lessons from Animals


Through my observations painting animals, here are 5 life lessons we can learn from animals:
  • Death is part of life
  • Trust your instincts
  • Love unconditionally
  • Be mindful of every moment
  • Take naps
You’re Invited: Rescue Me


The Rescue Me event at transFORM Gallery, where my fox painting Dandelion Wishes along with several of my other animal art paintings will be displayed, benefits the Humane Society of Westchester.
art show http://transformgallery.com/youre-invited-rescue-me-a-collaborative-event-with-the-humane-society-of-westchester/
The show will be on display through Sept. 24, 2016, and features artwork that is animal themed in nature in an effort to raise awareness for the compassionate care and treatment of animals.



Other Posts You Might Like:

In Case We Haven't Met Yet...

Art Journaling Inspirations → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/01/my-favorite-art-journaling-magazine.html
Hello! I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.

My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not working on art in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net


Let's Discuss!

What life lessons have you learned from animals?

Read More »

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Art is your Legacy (5 benefits of collecting art)

5 benefits of collecting art http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/06/art-is-your-legacy-5-benefits-of.html
Have you ever gotten a message from beyond the grave?

Shortly after Mother’s Day, I got a phone call from a stranger. 

He had received one of the postcards I had sent out to art collectors to celebrate spring had arrived at his home. I addressed the postcard to his wife who had purchased some of my original artwork.

My heart sank when he told me she had passed away.

“I’m so sorry. I will take her name off my list,” I apologized, feeling horrible that I had unknowingly caused him pain.

But to my surprise, he thanked me for sending the postcard. He explained that receiving the postcard brightened his day and it almost felt like it was a gift from his late wife. He asked to remain on my mailing list, so he could continue to receive my postcards and said he may consider collecting more art from me in the future. You can see the art she collected in the picture below.

living room decorating idea with Spring blossoms. collect the canvas prints http://www.imagekind.com/artists/schulmanart/Trees/fine-art-prints
"Spring Blossoms" by Miriam Schulman (art collected by the late Elizabeth Deaux)→ canvas prints are available HERE

You see, his wife was an avid collector of original art during her lifetime and all the art decorating their home comforted her husband after she had passed. She had collected a triptych of three oil paintings, called Spring Blossoms. Although the original is now part of their private collection, canvas prints are available HERE.

Art is part of her legacy.

A Grandmother’s Art is her Legacy


My husband’s grandmother was also an artist.

When she passed the adult grandchildren divided up their favorite paintings. Each one held special meaning to them  that stoked a warm memory of when their grandmother painted it. Although she wasn’t a professional artist, her art played an important role in the family’s memories of her and the farm that she painted. If she ever thought she wasn’t good enough to paint, her family would beg to differ based simply on the memories she gave them and the place of honor they bestowed to her artwork in their homes.

My husband chose a gentle watercolor of children looking out a window at a flock of birds. The children are painted very loosely, not in a formal portrait manner. But each time he looks at the painting, which now hangs in our bedroom, he is brought back to his childhood memories on the farm.

Art is part of her legacy.

5 Benefits of Collecting Art


Whether you collect the artwork of others, create your own or a bit of both, art becomes a piece of you and your family’s personal history. It’s a part of your life here and now, and it becomes a legacy when you’re gone.
5 benefits of collecting art http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/06/art-is-your-legacy-5-benefits-of.html
collect Sunflower Art

1. Art is your legacy


It helps piece together what you love. Your personality. What you value. Your footprint on this earth.

Here are some of the others reasons to collect art...

5 benefits of collecting art http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/06/art-is-your-legacy-5-benefits-of.html
Collect musical art from Schulmanart.com

2. Art makes us feel good


There’s no doubt that one of my favorite reasons to collect art is how it makes you feel. From delight to excitement, nostalgia to love and relaxation to pride, the important thing about the artwork you surround yourself with is your interaction with it—how it makes you feel. 
5 benefits of collecting art http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/06/art-is-your-legacy-5-benefits-of.html
Original watercolor of owl art
 

3. Art reflects your values


Pieces of art resonate differently for each of us. The art you purchase and decorate your home with forms a tapestry of your personal style and tastes. It can help people understand what you value.

4. Be a patron of the arts


You don’t have to spend millions on a Picasso to be a patron of the arts. The art you invest in today becomes your family's cultural legacy tomorrow. You make a real difference when you support the arts, because you make future paintings possible.


5. Join the art community


You build connections among like-minded people when you take art classes, follow artists and visit galleries. Your art tribe becomes a welcome place for social interaction between fellow art-lovers and collectors. I witness this every day as I watch the nourishing and supportive interaction in our Facebook groups among those enrolled in my art classes at The Inspiration Place.

Art is powerful. Whether you create original works or surround yourself with the work of others...art is part of your legacy.

free postcard by @schulmanArt click here→ https://schulmanart.leadpages.co/free-peacock-postcard/
PS would you like to be on the list to get one of my
 free postcards in the mail?  

All you have to do is sign up for my email list to get one next 
time they go out.

What do you think? 


Do you have art that brings you back to a special person, time or place?



Read More »

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

5 Surprising Tricks for Inspirational Breakthroughs (based on science)

watercolor | animal art | pig art | farm animals | farm | watercolor class | online class | free watercolor class | free art class | online training | read more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/06/5-surprising-tricks-for-inspirational.html

I know what it’s like to be starved creatively. Although art is now integrated into every aspect of my life, it hasn’t been that long since my life looked very different. In 2000, I worked at a high-powered hedge fund job that required long hours, and with a toddler at home and one on the way I barely had time to take a shower, much less any time to devote to art.

Missing my creative side


No doubt I was missing my creative side, and it had been years since I had touched my art supplies. I remember the thrill mixed with fear when I first started painting again in a corner of my kitchen table. I had the desire to get going but struggled to shed my corporate life to unleash my creativity.

Struggle for Fresh Inspiration


Even now, I sometimes struggle to find inspiration even though art is now my life’s work. In fact, sometimes it is even harder to come up with fresh inspiration when you create art on a more regular basis.

To help you overcome creative blocks, let’s take a look at the science of inspiration and the top ways I use it to get inspired.


The Science of Inspiration



Although In the past I have written about the magic of finding your creative muse, (see the magic of getting started or Invoking the Muse) scientists have shown that inspiration isn’t entirely spiritual or the result of being “breathed upon by God” as ancient civilizations thought. We can use this brain research to help us be more creative. Scientists identified the following times when our brains are poised for inspiration:
  • Memory triggers: When memories or thoughts are triggered in your mind spontaneously
  • Shake things ups: When you break beyond your usual way of thinking or viewing something, and see it in a new way
  • Motivation: When you are motivated to express an idea

Inspiration not only motivates you, but makes you feel good about what you’re doing. Since no one is counting on you to make a painting, it can sometimes be hard to get motivated to take the first step. (There will always be something that seems “more important” to get done.) But just like exercise, you know how good you feel doing it… your brain needs art to help you relax so here are some ideas to help you get inspired in unlikely places.


Inspirational Breakthroughs


When I’m in an inspiration funk or taking just too long to actually start a painting, here are some ways I break through.

watercolor | animal art | pig art | farm animals | farm | watercolor class | online class | free watercolor class | free art class | online training | read more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/06/5-surprising-tricks-for-inspirational.html

Reconnect with your Inner Child

watercolor | animal art | pig art | farm animals | farm | watercolor class | online class | free watercolor class | free art class | online training | read more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/06/5-surprising-tricks-for-inspirational.html
"Yasgur's Farm" watercolor by Miriam Schulman
>> collect prints

My father-in-law was a chicken farmer in the Catskills, just down the road a few miles from where the Woodstock Music Festival took place in 1969. Our family visits regularly, and my teenage son loves to spend time there helping Grandpa cut up wood or plant vegetables. When I visit the farm, I love fantasizing about my favorite children’s books and fairy tales.

The farm was actually my inspiration for my watercolor class Farm Animal Spirits, where we paint the animals in class that you see on my father-in-law’s farm and we will be painting the fuzzy yellow baby chicks that he raised, the cows that lived down the road, pigs like Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web and sweet baby lambs.

watercolor | animal art | pig art | farm animals | farm | watercolor class | online class | free watercolor class | free art class | online training | read more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/06/5-surprising-tricks-for-inspirational.html

Daydream

watercolor | animal art | pig art | farm animals | farm | watercolor class | online class | free watercolor class | free art class | online training | read more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/06/5-surprising-tricks-for-inspirational.html
sneak peek at a lesson inside of Farm Animal Spirits


When you’re trying to squeeze more errands in your day, get your work done or help your kids with their math homework, you must be laser focused. But when it comes to inspiration it is actually more productive to daydream.

So next time you are bored, resist the temptation to keep yourself busy checking status updates on Facebook and use that time to space out and dream.

watercolor | animal art | pig art | farm animals | farm | watercolor class | online class | free watercolor class | free art class | online training | read more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/06/5-surprising-tricks-for-inspirational.html

Wash the Dishes

Just like daydreaming, your mind is more open to inspiring thoughts when you are not working. Computer work or bill paying should be focused on during your optimal hours (whatever that time is for you), but inspirational and ah-moments hit you most while doing repetitive tasks, like washing the dishes. I get the best sparks when I am taking a walk or a boring exercise class when my mind has wandered away from the downward dog.
watercolor | animal art | pig art | farm animals | farm | watercolor class | online class | free watercolor class | free art class | online training | read more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/06/5-surprising-tricks-for-inspirational.html


Change It Up



When I spend too much time in my studio, I find my inspiration actually suffers. So to get inspired, you have to change up your routine. For me, a trip to New York City will usually fix that and the day off from my work means I come back re-energized and even more inspired.

Take what you usually do and change it, so that your brain is primed to be inspired. If you can’t take a whole day off to yourself just spend a few minutes to walk around the block or call a friend. (Just having a good old fashioned conversation can sometimes get those creative juices flowing.)
watercolor | animal art | pig art | farm animals | farm | watercolor class | online class | free watercolor class | free art class | online training | read more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/06/5-surprising-tricks-for-inspirational.html

Just Do It!

watercolor | animal art | pig art | farm animals | farm | watercolor class | online class | free watercolor class | free art class | online training | read more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/06/5-surprising-tricks-for-inspirational.html
"Cows in the Meadow" watercolor by Miriam Schulman,
 prints available

Inspiration can strike after the first stroke, so just get painting.

If I paint something that doesn’t work in my art journal, I just keep layering until I like what I see.

The only failure is never starting, so just do it. (tweet this)




Farm Animal Spirit Watercolor Class

To see how inspiration from visiting my father-in-law’s farm turned into an online art class, I hope you register for my Farm Animal Spirit watercolor class. This class is perfect for those who want to capture the personality and spirit of farm animals and to learn easy techniques to paint them so they look realistic, but not rigid or “cartoonish.”
Learn more about my new class Farm Animal Spirits



watercolor | animal art | pig art | farm animals | farm | watercolor class | online class | free watercolor class | free art class | online training | read more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/06/5-surprising-tricks-for-inspirational.html

What are ways that you get inspired?

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Monday, April 25, 2016

the magic of getting started

What do you think is the hardest part of the creative process? Getting started or to keep going? Although both are hard, I argue getting started is always the hardest and there is a magic in just starting.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it~ Goethe (tweet this)


One of the reasons I am in love with collage is because I know I can always just start collaging - gluing down my inspirational bits- even when I am uninspired knowing that during the process the inspiration will find me.


Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.~Picasso (tweet this)


I believe that it is a great creative truth that inspiration will find you...but only if you are working. you cannot wait until you are "inspired" to start your art. You just have to begin.

I use this tenet to get my teenage son to do his homework. I know that getting started is always the hardest part. He cannot wait until "he is in the mood." Who was ever "in the mood" to write a paper about to Kill a Mocking Bird? Yes, it was a great book- but to write a persuasive essay- well pigs fill fly before a teenager will be "in the mood" to write that.

However, once he writes that first sentence, he may be in the mood to write another and then another. And one more until the creative well runs dry. So we put it away and then I have to force him to the kitchen table the next day to get started.

It is the same with art. Many make the mistake that because art is enjoyable that they can wait until they are "in the mood" to paint. But to make great art you have to work at it often because not everything you do will be a masterpiece. Like a writer, you will scrap many sentences and throw out rough drafts. Like a scientist there will be many failed experiments- canvases that you will not want to ever display. (don't be tempted to list these on ebay or give to your mother. If you don't like them, you should paint over them with something better.)

The Magic of getting started...


But we know that once we start we will happily be reunited with our muse... it is also like exercise.. the hardest part is getting to the gym. I liken it to the first peck the chick makes in her shell. 

Are you surprised to hear me compare my art to writing an essay or exercising? The creative process takes discipline and the magic is in the hard work.

In this blog post I share the secrets behind this poppy painting... come and see.
The secret behind the vibrancy of the flowers are watercolor markers. The watercolor markers are transparent color. Since it is a marker, the color is applied as pure pigment and not diluted with water. I used shades of red and pink to create the poppies. The transparent watercolor allows you to see through the color and enjoy the luscious layers underneath.

In order to make the poppies "pop", I white washed the background with diluted white acrylic paint. The paint was diluted with glazing medium. not water. You can still see the layers peeking through the white veil but they no longer compete with the flowers. I teach all these techniques on my free youtube channel SchulmanArt plus I also offer online classes at theInspirationPlace.net 

Mixed Media Madness is probably the best class to learn most of these techniques. If registration is not open now, then you can get on the waitlist here.

Some details you will notice in the collage layers are piano music. I love adding music to my collages as the music brings in an energetic force to the piece. You will also notice words and other snippets of pattern.

Bringing complex art in your home means you will have art that you never get tired of looking at as you notice something new every time you study the artwork. The colors are intended to cheer you up while bringing you a sense of calmness at the same time. →collect this art
The finished painting measures 20x20" and comes with a black floater frame. The original mixed media canvas comes framed and ready to hang on the wall so you can enjoy poppies all year long.

Here the painting is shown displayed over a Pottery Barn bed. All furniture, linens and accessories are from PotteryBarn. You can collect the painting at SchulmanArt.com

 http://tinyurl.com/schulmanarts

Want to save on this art right now? 

let me email you the latest coupon


Want to learn how to create your own art like this?


Other Posts You Might Like:


In Case We Haven't Met Yet...

Art Journaling Inspirations → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2016/01/my-favorite-art-journaling-magazine.html
Hello! I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.

My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not working on art in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net


Let's Discuss!


What do you think is the hardest part of the creative process? Getting started or keep on going?
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