Always looking, always searching for things and people you can learn from, is one thing you can do to help you grow as an artist. Of course the other thing, the main thing, is to make art. To make more and more and more, because every one teaches you something you didn't know before. I was used to working on one painting at a time, pursuing it continuously from start to finish, when I realized I really wasn't ever going to be productive enough to be able to make a living as an artist. So when I got to a sticky point with a painting where I needed to think about how to go forward, I began starting a second painting, or even a third, so I didn't have to stop painting just because one had to dry, or sort itself out in my mind.
Last month, my friend and painting buddy Jackie McIntyre told me about the website of Robert Burridge, a California painter whose figurative abstracts had really captured her attention. Since becoming looser and more inventive is something I'm constantly working at, I decided to order his 'Loosen Up Painting Series' DVD, a real bargain with 3 different programs for $50. Nothing I ever watched has changed the way I work so much. I set up a table in my studio so I could copy his warm-up technique, and now three or four times a week, if I'm lucky, I find myself working on as many as 9 paintings at once! Of course they're all small—5x7"—but painting this way frees up my mind in a way I've never been able to before. More on this to come!