100 episodios

Savvy Painter is a weekly podcast for artists who mean business.

Antrese Wood talks to experts in the field about the business of art and how it gets created. Want to know how leaders in the fine art world of plein-air and landscape painting got their start? What habits do top artists have in common? Every week, we talk about representational painting, abstract art, alla prima painting, art competitions, art materials, watercolor, oil painting, how to get into an art gallery, how to succeed with your art business and so much more!

Savvy Painter Podcast with Antrese Wood Conversations about the business of art, inside the artist studio, and plei

    • Artes visuales

Savvy Painter is a weekly podcast for artists who mean business.

Antrese Wood talks to experts in the field about the business of art and how it gets created. Want to know how leaders in the fine art world of plein-air and landscape painting got their start? What habits do top artists have in common? Every week, we talk about representational painting, abstract art, alla prima painting, art competitions, art materials, watercolor, oil painting, how to get into an art gallery, how to succeed with your art business and so much more!

    Using Art To Tell Stories, with Rob Rey 

    Using Art To Tell Stories, with Rob Rey 

    When you approach the canvas do you find yourself trying to tell a story with your artwork? Do you think you are telling a story with your art whether you like it or not? Here to explore these questions and many more is my guest and fellow artist, Rob Rey. 
    Rob’s artwork is often inspired by his interests in both natural sciences like astronomy and physics as well as social sciences like psychology and sociology. These interests commonly influence his work, as do a multitude of inspiring artists from classical art to golden age illustration and contemporary representational art.
    In our conversation, you’ll hear how Rob approaches his creative process, what he has learned from his career over the years, which artists have made the most impact on him, and so much more. I can’t wait for artists like you to learn from Rob’s fascinating journey!
    Telling a story Have you ever watched a scene in a movie that said a thousand words without using a single line of dialogue? What about an instrumental song that evokes feelings of joy or dread without using any words? From paintings and sculptures to music and movies, artists have been using their medium to tell stories since the beginning of time. What are the resonant, positive, and awe-inspiring stories of today? How can our expanding scientific knowledge drive our enchantment with the natural world and grow our empathic interests toward our fellow humans? Exploring these questions visually, Rob Rey hopes to promote or create the stories that best help us to achieve these goals. Make sure to check out images of Rob’s artwork located at the end of this post. 
    Chaos vs. Order Do you ever find yourself struggling with the tension between chaos and order on your creative journey? What do you do to cut through all of the noise and focus on what really matters? According to Rob Rey, he found a good balance between chaos and order in his artwork through trial and error. After years of practice and persistence, Rob feels like he has a good handle on the balancing act required to navigate chaos and order. What do you think of Rob’s response? What has worked well for you on your creative journey?
    Advice for fellow artists Listening to Rob describe his approach to the creative process and how stories have captured his imagination gets me thinking about what I love about my life as an artist. If you’ve been around the Savvy Painter community for very long, you know that I am always looking for ways to improve as an artist and I hope you never stop learning either. I wanted to get Rob’s take on what advice he would pass on to fellow artists. Rob is a huge fan of taking time to practice your craft - log in the hours! Let’s face it, the only way to learn how to avoid making the same mistakes is by practicing a new approach. What can you learn from Rob’s story? 
    Outline of This Episode [0:40] I introduce my guest, Rob Rey. [2:30] What led Rob to his career as an artist?  [6:15] Rob talks about his interest in stories and storytelling.  [13:15] Telling a story with an image.  [15:30] Resolving chaos vs. order.  [20:00] Rob talks about reactions to his artwork.  [31:15] Rob’s dream project.  [38:00] Relating science to our daily lives.  [40:00] Rob opens up about his creative process.  [49:00] Advice for fellow artists.  Other artists mentioned on this episode John William Waterhouse Alphonse Mucha J. C. Leyendecker Jeffery Catherine Jones  Frank Frazetta Resources Mentioned on this episode Rob Rey’s website Book: The Power of Myth Podcast: Radiolab Connect With Antrese On Facebook On Pinterest On Instagram On Twitter

    • 52 min
    Identifying and Overcoming Resistance in Your Creative Journey 

    Identifying and Overcoming Resistance in Your Creative Journey 

    Webster’s Dictionary defines Resistance as, “an act or instance of resisting: opposition. b: a means of resisting. 2: the power or capacity to resist.” 
    What comes to mind when you think about resistance? Do you start thinking about all the things that are giving your resistance in your life? Do you have a resistant family member? What about that project that keeps giving you a headache? Imagine what it would be like to clearly identify and manage the resistance you face both personally and professionally. I’d like you to join me as I share some insights about my journey with resistance and some tips I’ve picked up along the way. If you are ready to make 2020 a more productive year - you’ll want to pay close attention! 
    Identifying resistance  I first learned about resistance when I read Steven Pressfield’s book, “The War of Art” in 2005. Before then, I had a hard time understanding why painting, writing, or any other creative endeavor was so hard. 
    Since then, I’ve re-read that book at least once every single year. Each time I read it, I have a different insight. If you’ve read Steven Pressfield’s book, the War of Art, you’re familiar with resistance. Even if you have not read his book, I’ll wager you are familiar with resistance, you just didn’t know it had a name, a proper name with a capital “R.” It’s real. It’s powerful. It’s a sneaky little bastard who’s not always easy to spot.
    Pressfield uses a lot of war analogies in his descriptions of Resistance, and he’s right to do so because it’s serious business. Resistance is at war with you, it can destroy you. Resistance wants to take you out, so I do see Resistance as an enemy. If I let him have his way, I’d stop showing up for you. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere - I want to help artists like you kick this jerk to the curb!
    Antrese’s rules for overcoming resistance  Resistance will encourage you to overthink, over analyze and over research to the point that your mind is so filled with data, you’re immobilized. I am the queen of overthinking and self-inflicted analysis paralysis. Since I know that is my tendency, I’m learning to make action my default. Over the years, I found a few helpful ways to combat and even overcome Resistance’s influence in my life.
    Here are a few rules I’ve made for myself, in time I may adjust them but for now, they’re working for me:
    Given the choice between consuming and making, I will always choose making. I can only research for 20 minutes at a time. After I research I ALWAYS take action. That means if I’m researching a technique, I can only spend 20 minutes before I try the technique. I only need to know enough to take my next step. Most of the time, that baby step is enough to get me going. So there are a few examples of rules I have created for myself and I’d like to challenge you to make your own. You may not be prone to analysis paralysis, but you’re prone to something, and Resistance will find it and use it against you. Take the time to identify Resistance’s power in your life and plot steps to mitigate and even remove its power. Trust me, I know it’s hard work but it’s worth it! 
    Outline of This Episode [0:01] My introduction to this episode.  [3:00] Some awesome feedback from artists like you!  [5:00] Let other people inspire you.  [7:00] How resistance shows up in my life. [9:30] Helpful rules that I’ve come up with to combat resistance.  [12:30] Using resistance to your advantage.  [17:30] How artists like you are dealing with resistance.  [21:00] Closing thoughts and helpful tips.  Resources Mentioned on this episode Steven Pressfield - The War of Art Carol Dweck - Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Seth Godin

    • 23 min
    The Growth Of An Artist, with Shana Levenson

    The Growth Of An Artist, with Shana Levenson

    As you look at your career as an artist, do you notice how much you’ve grown and changed over the years? What led to the big moments of growth and change for you? It was a joy to sit down with my guest and fellow artist, Shana Levenson. In our conversation, Shana opens up about her experience as an art instructor, how her children have influenced her art, how she’s grown over the years, and much more. I know that artists like you will get a lot out of Shana’s helpful and unique perspective! 
    Empowering others Who was it that helped you along in your growth as an artist? Did you have a family member who took special interest in your creative development? Were others in your family supportive of your creative and artistic pursuits? Following in her brother’s footsteps, Shana Levenson had wanted to pursue a career as an artist from a young age. As she slowly carved out time to go to art school over the years - Shana fell in love not only with art but also with teaching. Shana got into teaching as a necessity but found that she really enjoys empowering others as they develop creatively. 
    Parenting and painting  As she finished her Master’s degree, Shana was also dealing with the end of her marriage. Not only did Shana have to navigate the challenges of life as an artist, but she also had to figure out parenting and life as a single mother. Juggling both parenting and painting wasn’t easy for Shana - especially when her ex-husband said that she could not continue using their children in her artwork. I couldn’t imagine facing the challenges that Shana has faced as an artist and a parent - I hope artists who navigate both find Shana’s story inspiring!
    Dealing with criticism  How do you respond to criticism and critique? Let’s face it, criticism and less than positive feedback are the worst part of putting something out there for the public to consume. In spite of the challenge that facing criticism can cause - doing so confidently is a key area of growth for most artists. Shana is the first to admit that she has had to strengthen her muscles over the years when it comes to dealing with criticism. Don’t assume that criticism won’t come - it will! You need to decide right now, how you plan to respond when negative feedback comes your way. What can you learn from Shana’s story? 
    Push yourself Do you have a habit of pushing yourself creatively? Does a new challenge thrill and excite you or do you find yourself running in the opposite direction? As I got to know Shana over the course of our conversation, I really wanted to get to the heart of what makes her tick. Considering my question about her positive habits, Shana was quick to point out the fact that she loves to push herself beyond her limits. A good example of Shana’s desire to push herself is her desire to work with lace in her paintings - something she had never done before. You can find images of Shana’s artwork located in the resources section at the end of this post. 
    Outline of This Episode [0:40] I introduce my guest, Shana Levenson.  [9:00] Shana talks about her experience as a teacher.  [13:00] How Shana’s art changed after her divorce.  [19:00] Pushing through difficulty and finding a new way forward.  [23:00] Dealing with rejection.  [28:00] Shana’s criteria for entering art competitions.  [32:30] Negative and positive reactions to Shana’s artwork.  [38:45] Shana talks about pushing herself beyond her limits.  [49:00] How does Shana approach the canvas?  [55:30] Closing thoughts.  Other artists mentioned on this episode Pablo Picasso Henri Matisse Jodie Herrera David Kassan Resources Mentioned on this episode Shana Levenson - Fine Art www.savvypainter.com/faso Daily Rituals: How Artists Work Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise Connect With Antrese On Facebook On Pinterest On Instagram On Twitter

    • 57 min
    Defeating Overwhelm and Finding Clarity 

    Defeating Overwhelm and Finding Clarity 

    If you are anything like me, you find yourself fighting back the feeling of overwhelm from time to time. What do you usually do when you start to feel overwhelmed? How do you cut through the usual complexity that life brings and find clarity? As we start the New Year, I wanted to take some time to go over some helpful tools and insights that I've gained over the years through experience and learning from my peers. I hope that artists like you will find something of value as I share some useful practices and lessons that I've gathered over the years. 
    Beginning with the end in mind  If you want to start finding clarity in your life, it can be helpful to begin with, the end in mind. Too often, people get overwhelmed with the idea of significant change that they give up before they get started. To make big change more manageable, try breaking it down. 
    Author Annie Dillard once wrote, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days."
    How do you want your year to look? Why not set some goals and start to work your way backward from there? If you're going to make a trip to another country, start planning out what you need to do each day, week, and month leading up to the trip. What works for trips can work for your art projects as well! 
    Say no to the right things One of the hardest lessons that I've had to learn over the years is to disappoint the right people and to say "No" to the right things. Let's face it, you can't make everyone happy, and you can't do all of the things! Part of ordering your life and your career is learning how to prioritize your time, energy, and relationships. You may want to take every opportunity that comes your way, but the truth is, that is not sustainable. If you're going to keep a healthy work-life balance, you need to decide on your priorities and stick to them. 
    Take action!  One of the worst aspects of getting overwhelmed can be finding yourself frozen with inaction. How do you react when you feel overwhelmed? If you want to make some positive changes in your life, you need to start somewhere. Even if you need to make a small step toward change, take it! I challenge you to write down the one thing that you will do today that will make you feel accomplished. Here are a few examples that you can use: 
    Knock out a small painting like an 8x10 or even a 3x5.  Set your studio up for tomorrow, so you are ready to go.  Open your sketchbook up and sketch for just 15 minutes.  Prepare canvases for the weekend, so you are ready to paint.  Choose one small section of that large painting that you will resolve today.  Write that email that you've been avoiding.  Make that decision that you've been agonizing over.  These examples are just intended to get you started. Pick an action step that makes sense for you - but don't put it off!
    Outline of This Episode [2:30] I give a shoutout to a few listeners.  [6:40] Why you need to figure out your life design.  [9:00] Where are your priorities?  [11:30] I describe my ideal day.  [19:20] Finding clarity and focus.  [22:00] Saying “No” to the right things.  [24:00] Action steps you can take today! [26:00] Closing thoughts. Resources Mentioned on this episode www.savvypainter.com/faso Connect With Antrese On Facebook On Pinterest On Instagram On Twitter

    • 29 min
    Why Art Matters In The Painful Places Of Life, with Erin Mcgee Ferrell

    Why Art Matters In The Painful Places Of Life, with Erin Mcgee Ferrell

    It is difficult to honestly talk about the most painful places of life - the times when cannot avoid facing our mortality or need to come to grips with our value as human beings. But in this conversation, Erin McGee Ferrell spoke about those issues with such ease that I was grateful. The ease with which she deals with those subjects is a testament to the healthy way in which she's faced those issues herself.
    Erin lit up my day with what she shared and the way she shared it, and I know that you’ll be inspired and encouraged as well. A few jewels you can look forward to from this episode:
    Erin’s current studio: in a church rectory, overlooking a cemetery How Erin got involved in healthcare-related work - and the difference she’s making The relationship of art to the deeper things we all experience in life A South American experience where Erin discovered a culture losing its artistic history How Erin’s art serves as her personal diary Creativity poured out when Erin faced her mortality Amazingly, as Erin and I recorded this conversation she had just passed the 1-year anniversary to the discovery that she had breast cancer. Throughout that year she had experienced all the emotions and procedures you might imagine and many that you can only know if you’ve been in those shoes.
    She says that the experiences of the last year pushed her to a new place of expression, a place where she had to release the thoughts and feelings that were bubbling to the surface from the deepest places in her soul. She wrote bad poetry in the middle of the night and she created art related to the things she was experiencing.
    She says…
    “When you tap into those really deep places of facing your death - stuff just has to bubble up. When you go that deep, you hit something and it has to bubble out of it.”
    A research project that proves the power of art on cancer patients Even before her own experience battling cancer Erin was deeply interested in the impact art could have on those fighting life-threatening diseases. She was awarded a research grant from the state of Maine to do an 8-week study which was called, “The Effects of a Live Painter in a Chemotherapy Treatment Facility.” The project was designed to provide exactly what the name implies - and measure the results.
    With the help of a friend who is a Social Psychologist, they conducted the study and published their findings in the Journal for Oncology Nursing. What did they discover? There were four primary findings...
    The presence of the artist lowers anxiety It changes the feeling of the environment It creates a spontaneous community among the patients As a side-benefit: the project lessened the degree of compassion fatigue experienced by the nurses Clearly, art and the creation of it matters in life and death contexts, making not just the experience of those undergoing treatment better but also helping those who care for them to provide even better care.
    Art is about the human soul - and we don’t touch it as much as we need to  Perhaps one of the most powerful points Erin makes has to do with the greater function art has in relationship to the human soul. In her mind, art helps us touch the parts of ourselves that are the most important, give them expression, and benefit others in the process.
    Art provides a vehicle through which to express things like fear, loneliness, mortality, hopes, and dreams - and to process those things through our expression. Erin sees our honest connection to those parts of ourselves as being vital to health and our growth as human beings. 
    In all of that, Erin sees herself being a “seed slinger” - a person who tosses things out without a lot of planning but with the hopes that they will take root and grow to the benefit of others. A recent experience regarding the placement of some of her books in the Alumni Center of her Alma Mate

    • 54 min
    Letting Go of Art “Rules” with Michael McCaffrey

    Letting Go of Art “Rules” with Michael McCaffrey

    Do you ever find yourself wondering why you feel like a square peg forced into a round hole when it comes to following art “Rules?” Is there something wrong with you, the system, gatekeepers, or all the above? I was thrilled to sit down and discuss this topic and much more with my friend, Michael McCaffrey. In our conversation, we also touch on his work inspired by his father, the difference between figurative and abstract work, why putting in time matters, and so much more. I can’t wait for you to learn from Michael’s fascinating perceptive and expertise! 
    Follow the “Rules” or forge your own path?  Are you a rule follower or a rule breaker? Most people who see that question will automatically know which category they fall in. Have you always been on one side of that question, or have you shifted over time? For Michael McCaffrey - permission to break from certain art “Rules” evolved. Practically, Michael had to change is approach to painting his father because he simply wouldn’t sit still for portraits. Even when he took photos of his father and brought them to the canvas for a reference point - Michael still had to give himself permission to push the boundaries and create his own set of “Rules.” 
    A unique take on the familiar  When I first visited Michael’s website, I was like a kid in a candy shop, seriously! Taking a look around at all the different subjects and perspectives he paints is truly inspiring. Most notably, I wanted to hone in on Michael’s work with his father. Michael and I both have parents in their 80’s, and I was curious to hear how Michael’s experience has been spending time and incorporating his father into his artwork. As he observed his father in his home of nearly 40 years, Michael started to notice how his father would pay particular interest and care to one part of his home while neglecting other parts for years. Make sure to check out the images of Michael’s work located at the end of this post - I know you’ll find it as fascinating as I did! 
    Putting in the time If you’ve been around the Savvy Painter community for very long, you know that one of the big mantras that we often hear from seasoned artists like Michael is to put in the time at your canvas. It’s tempting to succumb to apathy or indifference, but the truth is, nothing can get you out of a funk quite like time in your studio. It’s also in the studio where you begin to refine and hone your skills as an artist - you can’t microwave skill and success. Think of your time growing and developing as an artist like slow cooking a good meal - you have to give time for those flavors to work together! 
    Tearing it down and building it up again  While Michael is quick to point out the “Rules” that don’t work for him as an artist - he’s also quick to explain that tearing down inevitably leads to building something in its place. Facing the institutional challenges and personal struggles of life as an artist isn’t easy, but don’t forget that there is a community of peers who can help spur you along. Michael found that through the process of tearing down rules, ideas, or even his own artwork, there was a kind of freedom to reinvent and breath new life into his artwork. What do you think of Michael’s perspective? 
    Outline of This Episode [0:30] I introduce my guest, Michael McCaffrey.  [3:00] Michael describes his work.  [6:40] Working from photographs and memories.  [12:00] Michael explains how his concepts develop from his time with his father.  [17:00] Bucking against the “Rules.”  [26:30] Abstract vs. figurative work.  [32:30] Putting in the time.  [37:40] Why Michael likes the idea of deconstruction and reconstruction.  [44:30] Change is growth.  [48:20] Art that Michael would love to own.  Other artists mentioned on this episode Wayne Thiebaud Lucian Freud Ann Gale

    • 50 min

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