Savvy Painter is a bi-weekly podcast for artists who mean business.
Antrese Wood talks to expert painters 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?
Savvy Painter digs deep into the struggles and successes of contemporary painters. Artists spend enormous amounts of time alone in their studios. It's easy for them to believe their challenges are unique when in fact they are not. Fortunately, others have been there before, and by sharing our stories with other artists we all win.
The collective intelligence of the artist community is infinitely greater than the individual. Here's how you can tap into it.
Should you be happy about your art?
Have you ever felt a little lost and uncertain in your studio? Trying to paint from this space just results in overworking your paintings or piles and piles of half finished canvases in your studio.
It's so frustrating to finally get time to paint, but not use it to create something you're proud of. I hear it all the time from artists I work with in Growth Studio. In this episode, I teach you how to get past these blocks so you can paint with focus so that your voice is clear.
Does it have to be so hard?
Painting is hard, but the suffering part is optional. Why is it that when things are hard, we pile on extra layers of difficulty? When we are not aware of our thoughts, we don't notice how much harder we make it on ourselves when we think "this painting isn't working" or "I just don't know how to paint (fill in the blank)"
In this episode I show you how painters use their very human brains for self sabotage AND I offer alternative perspectives so that you can practice on your own.
Hitting the Pause Button and Taking Mental Breaks.
Have you ever needed a mental health day? What reasons do you give yourself for not allowing yourself the time? I just took a month (and some change) to be with family and recharge my batteries. In this episode, I give you a snapshot into my thoughts about allowing what is while taking care of yourself.
The Ebb and Flow of Creativity: An Interview with Artist Gabe Brown
Where are you on your creative journey? Do you have the right pieces in place yet or are you still trying to figure things out? If you feel like this last year or so has taken you through the wringer, you are not alone! Many of us are just now starting to get our bearings back after a year of isolation and adjustment. Here to help us navigate through the ebb and flow of creativity and the wild journey we find ourselves on is my guest and the talented artist, Gabe Brown.
Gabe was raised in New York City. She received her BFA degree from The Cooper Union and was awarded a Full Fellowship to attend the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She went on to receive her MFA in Painting from the University of California, Davis. Her work is included in both public and private collections. She is an Adjunct Professor in Painting and Drawing at Fordham University and SUNY New Paltz where she has received three Merit Awards for Professional Achievement. Gabe lives and works in the Hudson Valley.
I can’t wait for you to get to know Gabe’s fascinating perspective - also make sure to check out images of Gabe’s artwork located at the end of this post.
Perseverance through uncertainty Let’s face it, the last year with COVID has been challenging to say the least. While some of us have been able to leverage this time as an opportunity to try something new, there are those who have been stuck either creatively, emotionally, or otherwise. Part of understanding and adapting to your own unique ebb and flow of creativity is giving yourself space and understanding.
If you had a friend who was having a hard time with the isolation and abrupt change that COVID has wrought, how would you treat them? Most people would be kind and empathetic - why wouldn’t you give yourself that same treatment? I found Gabe’s experience of persevering through the uncertainty of COVID inspiring but I found her compassion for those who are struggling - even more so. Remember, we are all in this together - I’ve got your back and I’m trusting that you’ve got mine!
Absorbing and applying Everyone's a little different and we need to find our own method and pattern for our creativity. Gabe was kind enough to open up about her own season of absorbing and applying. For Gabe, absorbing is a time of observation - reading, taking walks, going to museums or galleries, Googling different artists. Then comes the moment of application - some way those observations start to make their way through to the surface of the creative process. Her end goal is to take all the information that she just absorbed and then somehow apply it to her studio practice to help perfect her craft.
What are you waiting for? Seriously? I know that the fear of failure can be intense - trust me, I’ve been there. But honestly, what do you have to lose? Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from exploring the possibilities that are right in front of you. I know that the journey is not an easy one, Gabe knows that too but what we want you to know is that it is worth it. I hope you found Gabe’s story an inspiring and encouraging one. If you want even more community and encouragement, I’d love for you to go deeper with the Savvy Painter community. Check out all the great ways to jump in - you won’t regret it!
Outline of This Episode [1:15] How Gabe got started as an artist. [6:30] The ebb and flow of creativity. [9:30] Gabe talks about her work and what she has been up to over the last year. [16:00] Are you afraid of success? [19:45] Absorbing and applying. [28:00] Intimate compression. [36:40] How do you know when it is finished? [47:00] Artists that Gabe would love to own art from. [51:15] Why Gabe likes to work on the floor. [54:00] Tips for new artists. [57:30] Closing thoughts. Other artists mentioned on this episode Darren Waterston
Lessons from Listening: An Interview with Artist Julia Cameron
When was the last time you really stopped and paid attention to your surroundings? As an artist, I have spent years training my eyes to pay attention to shapes, colors, and so many other aspects of the visual arts that listening to my surroundings was never a top priority. What can we learn from our surroundings when we deliberately slow down and begin to really pay attention?
Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to speak with hundreds of artists from all walks of life. It has been a huge honor to explore their stories, hear their unique perspectives, and bring them to my fellow artists like you! While I think I played it cool in this interview, I have to admit that was totally starstruck when I got to speak with none other than Julia Cameron.
Hailed by the New York Times as "The Queen of Change," Julia is credited with starting a movement in 1992 that has brought creativity into the mainstream conversation— in the arts, in business, and in everyday life. She is the best-selling author of more than forty books, fiction, and nonfiction; a poet, songwriter, filmmaker, and playwright. Commonly referred to as "The Godmother" or "High Priestess" of creativity, her tools are based in practice, not theory, and she considers herself "the floor sample of her own toolkit."
I hope you get as much joy, inspiration, and encouragement from Julia’s profound insights and wisdom as much as I did!
Learning to listen Are you ready to listen? Really listen to the world around you? You might be thinking that there is not much around you that is worth listening to - but you’ll never really know until you take the plunge! Julia Cameron is such a huge advocate for quieting the inner voice and tuning into the world all around that she wrote a book about it!
In her book, “The Listening Path,” Julia takes readers on a transformational journey to deeper, more profound listening and creativity. In Julia’s experience, as we learn to listen, our attention is heightened and we gain healing, insight, and clarity. At the heart of the practice, Julia says that listening creates connections and ignites a creativity that will resonate through every aspect of our lives.
If you are ready to find a deeper connection to the world around you and unlock the creativity within you, then try spending some time with the practices and rhythms that Julia teaches about. I’ve been incorporating several lessons from her works over the years and I can not recommend her insights and wisdom enough - I know that dedicated artists like you will get a lot out of what Julia has to offer.
Embracing playfulness You can’t get very far in a conversation with Julia Cameron without hearing about her passion for playfulness. Yes, that’s right, Julia is passionate about playfulness. If you've been around the Savvy Painter community for very long, you know that I am a huge fan of encouraging artists to get in touch with their inner child and unlock that long-hidden impulse to play when it comes to their art. I thought I was serious about playfulness but Julia has me beat. What are you waiting for? The right moment? The perfect plan? Julia encourages you and me to stop overthinking it and just embrace our playfulness. Do something fun today!
Outline of This Episode [4:00] I introduce my guest, Julia Cameron. [6:00] Julia opens up about her experience writing her latest book. [10:00] Cultivating a practice of listening. [13:00] Listening to yourself. [19:30] How to deal with the inner critic. [26:00] What to do next. [30:00] Working from the heart. [37:00] Just try it. [41:00] Doing the work itself is the work. [45:00] Julia talks about her love for film. [48:00] Embracing playfulness. [50:00] Closing thoughts. Resources Mentioned on this episode Julia Cameron Live The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativi
Evolving In the Spirit of Exploration and Spontaneity: An Interview with Artist Katherine Bourdon
If you were to sum up your creative career in a phrase or theme, what would it be? Has your style evolved over the years in little ways or in large shifts? If you are one of those artists that like to experiment and likes to play around and maybe feels like you are bouncing around a bit and dipping your paintbrush into many different genres of art, this is an episode for you!
I am thrilled to introduce you to my talented guest, Katherine Bourdon. Katherine describes her work as “Constantly evolving in the spirit of exploration and spontaneity.” As an artist and a musician, Katherine thinks subconsciously in terms of sound quality with each painting. The visual and auditory senses are intertwined into a single experience as she perceives the sound as color and form, and vise versa.
Join me for this conversation as Katherine opens up about how she got started as an artist, the challenges she has faced in her career, the habits that have helped her succeed, what it’s like as an artist with Synesthesia, and so much more!
All over the place If someone were to describe your artwork or your style as “All over the place.” Would you take that as a compliment or something different? How would you respond in the moment? When she heard someone describe her artwork as “All over the place,” Katherine didn’t miss a beat - was quick to explain that her biggest passion is, “Finding rhythm, pattern, and color in whatever the subject is.” Don’t be afraid to stand boldly in your vision of your artwork! It was so refreshing to hear Katherine confidently state exactly what she is trying to accomplish with her art as she invites her fellow artists to do the same.
Music and visual art explored through Synesthesia If you’ve been around the Savvy Painter community for very long, you’ve heard me mention my fascination with artists and individuals who experience Synesthesia. Katherine Bourdon was kind enough to open up about her journey as an artist who embraces Synesthesia in her artwork.
Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway (for example, hearing) leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway (such as vision). Simply put, when one sense is activated, another unrelated sense is activated at the same time.
I was curious to find out about the connection between music and visual art that Katherine experiences - she says that she noticed it very early on when her mother would play music at the piano. Katherine would eventually come to describe her ability as “Hearing colors,” as she started to notice the difference between individual composers like Bach and Beethoven. What can you learn from Katherine’s journey? Make sure to check out the images of her artwork located at the end of this post!
Outline of This Episode [0:05] I introduce my guest, Katherine Bourdon. [6:00] How Katherine got started as an artist. [8:30] Early family influences. [11:00] The connection between music and visual art explored through Synesthesia. [20:00] Searching for style and incorporating exploration in painting. [27:30] How Katherine learned to paint and the impact that art history had on her. [29:30] Getting back into the studio after some time away. [33:30] Healthy habits that work for Katherine. [39:00] Challenging moments from Katherine’s career. [41:00] Katherine talks about her dream project. [44:00] Tips for emerging artists. [47:30] The future of art and art sales. Other artists mentioned on this episode Johann Sebastian Bach Ludwig van Beethoven Henri Matisse Mark Bradford Resources Mentioned on this episode katherinebourdon.com Kate Bourdon (@katebourdon) • Instagram Connect With Antrese On Facebook On Pinterest On Instagram On Twitter
This is a wonderful resource
I listen to this show when I am in the mood for painting, or even just thinking about it. Antrese and her guests cover such a broad range of topics that I find myself continually discovering new things, while still getting to indulge in my painterly fancies. Thanks so much for your contribution to the art world everyone.
The exact right words
I listened to this podcast twice. I needed exactly ALL the words you were speaking. Thank you! I hope you’re able to make sooner rather than later! Please keep doing what you’re doing…it’s awesome. (And yes I’m going to leave this as a review so the silly iTunes Gods know how we feel to)
Perfectly thought through!
Yes! We can re-train our brains! I’m
Working on it.
Love this so much. Thank you.