Monday, December 13, 2010

Sketchbook and Motivational Monday

Here's the  rough sketch for my landscape.Although I think I may move the barn to the side a little bit. It kind of looks dead center when I see it like this. Oh, and the photo for this sketch is posted up on my Facebook fan page if you want to check it out.

I've got to say that I'm getting excited here. But I think I need to stop with the planning already and just paint it! So, that's what I'll be doing for the next few days. :) Wish me luck.

Now, onto Motivational Monday.

Lately I've been asked by a couple of different people how I get so much painting done. And I think it really comes down to something I learned when I first started writing.

There's so much about the act of being a writer that's comparable to the life of an artist that I find myself looking to both of those sources, successful writers and artists, for motivation when I feel lacking in that area.

Here it is.

Three big words of wisdom that changed my life.

Are you ready?

Here we go.


Butt In Chair. Of course if you stand while you paint then maybe you'll want to say Feet On Floor or something else that's a little more clever than that. ;)

It's really that simple. You want to paint? You want to be an artist? Then you have to show up for the job. There's no other way to create a body of work than to sit your butt in that chair and paint away.

Sometimes you might not feel like it, sometimes you might want to do anything other than sit down and paint, but you do it anyway. Because you WANT to be an artist more than you want to be anything else. And you know that by showing up and putting in the time you will succeed.

Tough love baby. That's the name of the game. Being an artist isn't all rainbows, glitter, and kittens, although it is that a lot of the time, and it should be that a lot of the time or else why bother?

I guess that my point is that simply by showing up, sitting your B-I-C and painting is usually all you need to start feeling the joy of painting that made you want to pick up your brushes in the first place. You can't feel that joy, that rush of creating, unless you first start. And you can't start unless you first sit your

Wash and repeat, everyday until it sticks.

Paint on friends. See you Wednesday!


  1. Landscape Wow! I'm excited. Can't wait to see the finished piece.

    B-I-C! I completely agree and I am struggling to get there myself.

  2. Crystal, thank you for the motivational words! I'd better do some B-I-C myself! And I am very eager to see what you do with your sketch. All the best!

  3. Ooh, I like the sketch and I like the advice, I am in need of some bic this morning, having a hard time focusing, can't wait to see this painting.

  4. Wow Crystal, I've missed so much! Your work is a joy!

  5. I sooooo agree with the BIC. If you want it bad enough you gotta make it happen. If that means 4 hours of sleep, oh, well:) Sleep is overrated anyway! I really needed these words today. I have 2 sick little boys and I'm not feeling so great either. But I am happy to report after having a non-productive painting day yesterday, I forced myself to get my butt in chair this morning. It's like you were reading my mind when you posted this:)

  6. Crystal- I am now MOTIVATED! Loved your post and can't wait to see this painting!

  7. Yay, you picked landscape! And you're right about that barn looking dead center. Bumping it to the left would be a good idea. I can't wait to see the finished product. :)

  8. That's great advice Crystal. For me I have no problems finding time to paint if it is something I have chosen to paint just because I want to, whereas when it is something I've been instructed to paint as part of my course, I find it hard to get motivated. It shows in my work too because the paintings I enjoy doing are always significantly better - my latest (not posted yet) is a good example of that!
    Your landscape is looking really promising. I agree about moving the barn a little, which is where your planning pays off! Can't wait to see it!! :oD

  9. heh! that's true, there's no magic secret ingredient for getting good, just lots of hard work, which is nice and a bummer at the same time if you ask me lol.
    Agree on the moving of the barn a bit to the side, can't wait to see the painted version :)

  10. Oh, I'm so excited to see this sketch become a painting. It's going to be awesome.

  11. Sarà una meraviglia,ne sono sicuro!
    Sei bravissima!


  12. Often the most obvious is so overlooked. Like anything worth doing you must practice again and again. With the amount of time I spend painting between working nights i see an improvement in myself and can only imagine how much more skilled I'll be by the time I retire in a few years and paint full time. I really appreciate all your encouragement and love stopping by your blog.

  13. Woody Allen says in one of his films (forget which one)
    "90% of life is showing up." That fits in with your
    B-I-C theory nicely! And so true! Looking forward to the landscape.

  14. I'd agree with moving the barn a little. That's where sketches or thumbnails are so useful.
    I remember a talk an artist gave once at a luncheon club, and she said, "Daily between 9-5 I paint, or I am publicising my painting." So she's a good example of BIC.

    Rainbows, glitter and kittens - what a lovely saying! Only doggies could make it better :lol:

  15. Wonderful inspirational words. I couldn't agree more. I guess we both have a "Crystal-ized view of things. :-) Love your art by the way!

  16. I love motivational Monday's. You always make me want to succeed. I love the landscape, you'll do awesome!!!!! Love ya rockstar! :)

  17. Love your motivational words for today, "BIC" is great. I have written on my palette "It's better to paint for one minute a day than to think about it for 24 hours a day. You learn more in that one minute of painting than you do in the 24 hrs of just thinking about it."

  18. Well my bum is firmly in my seat, but I'm not painting - just messing about on this computer again and getting nothing else done! I've got dinner to cook and maybe have to nip down to the shops first; need to kip for two hours first as I have split sleep pattern, and a budgie to clean out! As I have to do a painting for a Christmas present, I really ought to get motivational pretty quick...

    Yes Crystal, move the barn.

  19. Nice sketch Crystal. I believe no one can beat me at the procrastination game. I am way too good at that. At times I spend hours and hours going through other people's paintings on the internet but somehow the inertia is just too much for me. On other occasions its so easy to paint endlessly without getting tired :)

  20. Brilliant post, Crystal! I tell people that all the time. If all we did was wait for inspiration, we'd never get anything done!

    And as a bit of a closet novelist myself, I agree so many things hold true for both worlds.

  21. Agree with you about the barn and b-i-c :) How big is your sketch and what size will your painting be? do you usually do both the same size or are your sketches more like thumb nails? I like the shadow patterns in the sketch!

  22. looking forward to your landscape, lovely sketch! and thank you for the answer...B-I-C! it is that simple isn't it? so well written and just what i needed to read. we call it "getting out past the breakers." it's just so hard to get started, so many doubts, so many fears and sitting down is the answer. thank you for a wonderfully inspiring post!

  23. Thank you so much everyone for all your wonderful comments! It really makes my day to open up my email and see such kind words from my friends. (Which you all are).

    I hope you'll forgive me not responding to each of you individually, I'll do better at that after the holidays.

    meera, my sketches are more like thumbnails. I'm more comfortable working on a smaller scale at the beginning, especially for drawing. But I'm planning on making this painting 16 x 20 or so.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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