What inspires your creative process?

I’ve been fascinated by the creative process ever since I was a young student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, casting about for subject matter and settling into my own creative voice.  

One key piece to support healthy productive creativity is stimulating inputs. What kind of inputs stimulate the creative centers of the brain? What kind of inputs stimulate us visually? Emotionally? Spiritually? Mentally? Physically?

I’d really like to know, what’s one thing that inspires you?

I’d love to feature your inspiration in the mindful artist blog and newsletter. Write me an email at info@themindfulartist.com . Just a quick sentence or two to share with us one of your inspirations. Please include a photo or two– either of to illustrate your inspiration, to an image of your artwork. Also if you have a blog or website url you’d like to share, please include that, too!

Just to get the ball rolling, I’ll share one of my favorite things to look at.

Visual stimulation is so vital to my process. There are so many things that nourish me visually.  One of them is looking at vintage textiles. You may know I am a bit of a vintage nut. 

I love vintage clothing and appreciate the unique patterns, color palettes and textures of vintage fabrics particularly of the 30s – 60s. 

If you know my work , you’ll know it looks nothing like these textiles. But they are like vitamins for my artistic self. The just give me a little hum that leaves me feeling full and happy. That feeling is something that fills my creative well.

As always, I love to hear your comments! Please share below or email me to have your creative inspiration added here in future blog posts. 

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How to Do Stain Painting with Acrylics- Video Tutorial & Art Workshop

A lot of people recently when I tell them about my next in-person workshop have been asking me “What exactly is stain painting?” So I thought I would show you rather than tell you. In the late 50s and early 60s there was a move towards creating abstract canvases in which color became the primary subject matter and the paint itself practically merged with the surface. These painters created fields of color on large canvases which might envelop the viewer with their scale.  were some of the known “Color Field” painters among many others. Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis invented a particular type of Color Field painting called Stain Painting in which the liquid paint seeps into the fibers of an unprimed canvas.

© 47 Untitled, 1946

Here is a video from a talk I did at Portland State University in Oregon showing some simple preliminary steps to getting started with this gorgeous technique.

You can see from these photos, I like to encourage people to work large and get their whole body into it! We’ll be doing some yoga stretches to warm up – but don’t worry if your body won’t allow sitting on the floor, I have a big studio and plenty of table space, too.

These were taken in 2009 and 2011 in North Carolina. May 5 will be  the first time I have ever taught this workshop on the West Coast.

It’s a beautiful technique and so much fun to try! Come join us for an all-day workshop in my studio in Emeryville, CA Saturday, May 5. Click here to register.

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Inspirational quote-of-the-month – something savory and nutritional for your creative self…

Boredom is very important. Boredom is the origin of any good idea.

Francesco Clemente

Interview with Charlie Rose August 20, 2008

I have so many ideas and so much creative energy I cannot remember the last time I experienced boredom. On the advice of one of my mentors, I’ve decided this year to focus on a single body of work (Well, I need to complete some other projects first, but believe me, I have completely stowed away some works-in-progress because my tendency is to go off in a million directions!) I’m actually kind of excited to see if I experience some boredom in the studio and I’m wondering where it will lead me.

What do you think? Does boredom help you or hinder you? Please share your thoughts below. I’m curious to know.

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Making archival linen hanging tabs for works on paper

Yesterday, I needed to show my assistant Sarah how to create tabs for my drawings. I thought, hey! might as well share my technique with you, too!


Let me know what you think and  also let me know if there are any other topics you’d like me to cover in a video tutorial.

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