Overcoming Artist’s Block

Artist’s block is a beleaguering but usually inevitable reality for many creative types. It can stall progress, waste precious studio time, and is generally disheartening. Many different factors can cause artist’s block, but there are usually ways to overcome it. One difficulty is, everyone is different! There is no surefire fix or antidote, but I have compiled a few ideas that work for me and other artists that I know. Remember: the main obstacle to overcoming artist’s block is lack of initiative. Whether you use the ideas below or your own, the most important thing is: make the time to do it!

  • Go somewhere you’ve never been, or somewhere you enjoy. Sometimes a change of scene is all you need. Find an inspiring environment and spend your “studio time” there instead. This could be anywhere: a park, a new coffee shop, Continue reading
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How To Label Artwork in an Exhibition

Once you’ve hung artwork for an exhibition, how are you going to pass on the details of the works to visitors? There are several different options for labeling your work in this setting, though each should let visitors know:

  • The artist’s name
  • The title of the work
  • The medium of the work
  • The size of the work
  • The price of the work (if applicable)

Here is an example:

Vincent van Gogh
The Starry Night, 1889
Oil on canvas
73.7 cm × 92.1 cm (29 in × 36¼ in)

Below are some options for professionally labeling your artworks in an exhibition setting.

Vinyl

Often galleries and museums will use vinyl to display an artist’s name and / or the title of the show near the entryway. Next time you visit an institution, have a look.  Custom-cut vinyl lettering is easily removable and will not damage walls. You can see an example Continue reading

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Varnish

Is there any one art material that causes painters more grief than varnish? I doubt it! Varnishing oil and acrylic paintings is at best a tricky and often misunderstood process. This is because many artists consider it the final and permanent step to painting, which could alter the final result of the work if not done properly. In fact, proper varnish is made to be a removable layer to safeguard your work against the elements. Don’t be afraid! Let’s disucss.

Why varnish your painting?

Most art conservators and materials manufacturers agree that varnishing oil or acrylic paintings serves two main purposes:

  1. to protect the surface of the finished work from UV rays, dust, and other contaminants, and
  2. to unify the surface of the work to an even gloss, satin, or matte finish.

As mentioned earlier, the main misconception about varnish is that it is a permanent final layer. In actuality, varnish is meant to be totally removable from your painting. It is employed to take the assault from atmospheric elements, dust, UV rays, and any other environmental factors while your original painting remains untouched underneath. If over time the varnish yellows, cracks, or loses clarity, it can be removed and reapplied. Though the actual process of removing varnish is much more in-depth, Continue reading