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Finding the creative spark

What makes an artist ‘talented’?

I recently watched this Ted talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the bestseller ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ It touched a nerve, as I really empathise with her subject, that an artist does not have to be a mentally unstable genius in order to create brilliant work.

https://ed.ted.com/lessons/your-elusive-creative-genius-elizabeth-gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert

5% talent – 95% hard graft

Art is a job, a job like any other when you have good days, bad days, days when you want to do nothing but work, and days when you wonder why you are there at all. Success is dependent on turning up and sticking at it. I suspect we do have steeper peaks and troughs, but it’s a temperamental business. There is no barrier to being both creative and business like, which artists and buyers are waking up to, harnessing the selling power of the Internet.

Two of the most common questions I’m asked are ; “where do you get your ideas from?” and “How do you price your work?”

I get my ideas from every day, I see ideas every time I leave the house, in every programme I watch, every book I read. For example I visited Windsor Horse Show yesterday and was flooded with ideas for paintings, this photo I took would make a fantastic sketch for example.

Sadly I have to balance every idea, with whether or not I think will it sell, and how many people will it appeal to. My art is a business, and I have to approach it as such, so sadly this idea will be condemned to the closet, as it will have too narrow an audience to make it commercial. (By the way, big congrats to my sister who won Champion Polo Pony with her little home bred mare, Tinx)

Tinx, Champion Polo pony at Royal Windsor 

I do think there is such a thing as ‘talent’ there are some days when that elusive genie really does just show up, but talent is nothing without hard work. I am listening to a new song in the studio at the moment – ‘Bills’ by Lunchmoney Lewis, I know how he feels, and the video is hilarious! Bills Video

I’ve just finished this piece, and I’m pretty sure the genie was on my shoulder for this one.

Needs a title?!

Abysmal photos, I know! They’re off to the print studio to be professionally photographed next week!

Comments, as always, are very welcome. Love to know your thoughts, esp on the Ted talk, do you agree with her?

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Opening my studio

Henley Arts Trail 2015

The doors opened on Saturday morning and a sure but steady trickle of visitors flowed through the doors until Monday evening.

Studio looking stunning in the early May evening sun.
I have to come clean here, for the previous six or so years I have always thought of opening the studio as a pleasant exercise in meeting local folk, and other artists but never as profitable endeavour.

Inside the studio looking super clean
This year however I decided to put in a lot more effort, and have a wider range of art for sale, something for every budget. We renovated the studio, bought a trade stand and installed a gallery hanging system. I invested in prints, framing and print browsers and rather a lot of sundries besides…

My lucky horseshoe
It paid off, or, at least, paid for itself. We sold a lot of prints, cards and several large oil pieces. It was as ever great to meet all those who had made the effort to visit and fascinating to watch them react to the work on the walls.

Jazzy keeping watch.
I did a demo piece over the course of the open weekend, something which was very popular, and it sold on the last day. 

“Conquest” oil on natural linen
The Maidenhead advertiser wrote a lovely piece about the trail featuring a photo of yours truly. In all well worth the effort, and now we have the artists after party to look forward to!
Tina & Dolly – sure that the HENley arts trail was all about them