4 Rules Artists Live By

For as long as I can remember I have drawn, painted, designed, stitched…basically, create anything using many different mediums. Being an artist is a special thing. It is a joy to be given the ability and desire to create something beautiful and from the depths of your soul.

bird watercolor, loose watercolor painting


In the many years of feeding my creativity there are four rules I try to live by:

1. Life is too short to use cheap supplies. I am all for being frugal, especially when I am trying a new technique, but at some point cheap supplies don’t cut it anymore. Investing is good supplies will make your art better. There is a difference between using dollar bin brushes and kiddie paints, and painting with artist grade watercolor palettes and brushes. I love walking into an artist store. There, it’s an artist’s candy store, full of possibility and so many choices. Yes, and dollar signs. That doesn’t mean you have to buy everything at once. Start with one thing, like brushes.

loose watercolor, bird painting

2. Let it go. Sometimes my creation doesn’t turn out the way I envisioned. Maybe I rushed, or I was stressed (i.e. the bird above), or in a bad mood, or the watercolor just wouldn’t lay right on the paper; whatever the reason, just let it go. It’s not always going to be perfect, but I have to remind myself that it’s not about the final product, it’s about the process. We have to learn to learn from our mistakes, as well as our successes. Sometimes we just gotta let it go.

blue jay watercolor, bird painting

3. You’re better than you think. There will be times when I feel the final piece of art should be thrown in the trash, then someone looks at it and, get this, loves what I did! Usually, I give that person the piece I created (like the Blue Jay above). So, even though I am incredibly self critical, others looks at my art and love it. Of course, there have been times when people have not liked what I produced, but more often it’s me who is not liking it. It’s me who is giving it a critical eye.

4. Not everyone will like your art. It’s okay that not everybody likes your art. It’s not your job to make them like it. Your job is to create. Period. Sharing our creations with the world, because we see things differently and feel things deeply, can be a scary proposition.

But, one cannot be afraid. As Henri Matisse once said, “Creativity takes courage.” Be courageous, my artistic friend.

watercolor art gifts

3 thoughts on “4 Rules Artists Live By

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  1. Your Dad could have written these 4 rules !!!! He said some of the same things a few weeks ago while deciding details on one of his cedar chests ….


  2. Your Dad could have written these rules !!!! He said something from all of them a few weeks ago while deciding on details on one of his cedar chests!…..


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