by Holly Dean
Do you ever feel like you don’t have what it takes to make great art? That there isn’t enough time or you’re technique is not good enough?
Believe me, we all experience these and other fears from time to time. We stare at a blank canvas waiting for our muse to strike. We avoid painting altogether — it’s much easier to do the dishes! There never seems to be enough time to get to our art making or we’re too tired. It’s hard to make great art when we feel this way.
It’s time to slay your fears.
With the New Year just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to commit to slaying these fears. Take part in art opportunities that develop your ability to explore and play, show you remarkable new ways to approach your art, teach you new techniques and get you so excited about making your art that, suddenly, you do have the time.
I’m committed to teaching (so far) 25 workshops in 2017! I’ll support and encourage you, share awesome creative ideas and insights and teach you how to make great art. You’ll learn, you’ll laugh and maybe even cry. Making your art will become a joyful experience again.
find out more here and here
Join me for Studio Paint Nights here in my Merrickville studio. If you are relatively local and want to commit to making art on a regular basis, this is a great opportunity. Make art in this beautiful space while sharing artsy ideas. There’s room for 8 people — bring your friends and the paintings you want to work on.
find out more
You do not need a formal art education.
Of course, this can be a real help — but it isn’t required. All through history artists who had little or no formal art education made great art. You can participate in workshops and create with friends. These activities fuel your drive for making great art. You see the world differently; you see the beauty in everyday things. You are curating your life.
Great art doesn’t have to involve struggle and oodles of time.
This belief is particularly hard to overcome. We have been trained to believe that our best work takes a lot of time and so much effort — in our jobs, raising our kids, playing sports, you name it. Have you ever made a piece of art that just seemed to come together on it’s own? How did it make you feel? When this happens to me (very infrequently I may add) I feel like I’m a bit of a fraud. Surely this piece of art can’t be good enough, let alone great! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could enjoy this experience and learn how to make it happen more often? We can.
Of course you do need to commit time to making your art. The consistency is more important than the amount of time. What if you only have half an hour a day? That works. Throw in a couple of workshops, maybe a couple of 2 hour ones and a 2 day one, and you’ll be raring to go. That half an hour a day may become 45 minutes, an hour or more.
Technique is not everything.
Many people consider that great technique creates great art. Sure, it's an important element. But a painting with great technique and nothing else falls short. People want to experience art, to feel the artist’s intentions and relate to them in a personal way. Obviously this doesn’t happen with every piece of art, but the more of you that comes through in your work, the more people will connect to it. Great art creates a conversation between itself and your audience.
How to make great art.
Become an Artsy Lifer — Join in ARTSY LIFE MINI WORKSHOPS with me and Laura Starkey
find out more
Learn the secrets of an artsy life, boost your creative energy, make lovely art & new friends!
Keep it simple. Keep it small. Laura and I are forever inventing ways to infuse creativity into our busy lives. We've got plenty of tricks up our sleeves and we want to share them with you!
We've discovered the importance of keeping things simple. Indulging in Doodles or Zentangles, taking time to "see" with our digital cameras or throwing together a quick collage keeps our creative souls humming.
We've adopted the habit of snatching bits of time, however small, for making art. We allow ourselves to get lost in the act.
We'll guide you in the arts of noticing everyday beauty, collecting libraries of personal inspiration & giving yourself permission to play. All while you make art! You will become a member of our Artsy Life Facebook group too.
We know from experience how magic appears when you live an artsy life.
2 + 5 DAY WORKSHOPS at my Merrickville studio
find out more and see calendars
Painting Mixed Media Layers find out more
Extreme Texture Mixed Media Paintings find out more
Impressive Stamps find out more
Mixed Media Muse Journals find out more
Making Mixed Media Books find out more
1, 4 + 5 DAY WORKSHOPS at Haliburton School of Art + Design and St Lawrence College, Cornwall
Painting Mixed Media Layers info coming
Making Mixed Media Books info coming
Get ready to free your creative muse and really get into the zone, whether you’re making mixed media paintings or books! Play with dimensional objects, encrustation and aging techniques, acrylic paints and mediums, collage, stamps and stencils, oil pastels, ink, pencil, charcoal, writing, image transfers, bottle caps, beads, nails, lace, buttons, cheesecloth, cardboard, washers, thread, old earrings, favourite images, old book pages, flea market finds, funky cutlery... you name it. Paint with brushes and unusual tools, make mono prints, drip, pour, sand, rip, stitch, fold, carve and stamp. Explore the difference between fluid, soft body and heavy body acrylic paints, and when to use which acrylic mediums.
There are lots of demonstrations and Holly gives everyone plenty of individual attention. Curious beginners to experienced artists are welcome.
Introducing Studio Paint Nights at my Merrickville studio — STARTS JANUARY 5TH
Every Thursday from January through November — 7pm to 9 pm
Come, paint with friends and enjoy making your art in this beautiful space. Work on your own pieces; this is not an event or an occasion where we all paint the same thing.
Bring your own paint, brushes, supplies, canvas, paper or panels. There may be extra supplies available for purchase from time to time. While there is no instruction on Studio Paint Nights, there will be plenty of creative ideas flying around!
Commit to regular art-making this year. Choose 1 or more Studio Paint Nights every month, some months or whatever feels right for you. find out more
SPECIAL WORKSHOP with Seth Apter and me
3 + 2 DAY Mixed Media Book Arts WORKSHOPS at Burritt’s Rapids Hall info coming
You do have what it takes. There is enough time. Slay your fears and make great art.
What fears do you experience when making your art? What do you do to overcome them?
Join in the conversation by clicking on Comments below.
*There may be changes over the months.
FEB 2, 9, 16 & 23
7 Opportunities To Make Glorious Mistakes In Your Art
How to Make Great Art By Slaying 3 Fears
Fancy sleeping on air.