On The Artist's Path

blog header taking the artist path

Walking the Artist's Path...

Describe your artistic journey and your motivation in pursuing a career in art?

I started making art as a kid, as we all do, because we’re free to express whatever is in our little heads, with no judgment. 'Making' stuff was just always what I did, because it was fun and made me happy.

Creative inspiration... I grew up in the country, and spent the summers months on my own, (since my friends lived further than a bike ride away). During that time I  developed a love of putting pencil to paper and then being delightfully surprised when what I created actually looked like the thing. As a child, the surprised admiration of my family and friends when they saw my drawings made me feel like what I was doing was special, it made me unique and it spurred me on to keep going.

Honing my skills...That natural drawing ability consumed my younger years as I obsessively observed objects, fields, flowers, farm buildings, animals, birds, the sky, everything in my line of sight… trying to figure out how to realistically capture and convey to other people what I was seeing.

Learning from others... I also went to the local library (pre-internet) and repeatedly took out art books on my favorite artists: Lauren Harris, Tom Thomson, Andrew Wyeth, Georgia O’keeffe, and Emily Carr.. to name a few. I was amazed with how they saw the world, and the unique artistic filter they each had in order to express it. As I grew older my desire to somehow turn my love of creating into a full time occupation led me to art school. After 3 years I graduated, with my diploma and paintbrush in hand, ready to go out into the world to make art.

A never ending journey... In the fullness of my youthful ignorance I didn’t realize what a long winding road the artist’s journey would be. In hindsight, it turns out there’s actually no destination as an artist, there’s only the art that you create to record your journey along the way. Each painting I make is an expression of what I’m thinking, seeing and feeling at that particular point in time. It's like a visual diary, and when I put all my artworks together in a line, it tells the story of how I got to where I am both personally and artistically... it's a lifelong story that I keep adding to.

 artist painting


Why do you create art, and what is the goal of your artistic expression?

I paint the things I would like to see, or have seen, or am currently seeing, that lights me up. Often it’s just the way sunlight hits a landscape view, or flower or clouds, to create dramatic highlights and shadows, turning it if from something ordinary into something spectacular. It’s these kinds of special moments I want to capture and keep. The emotion I’m striving to share is one of joy, so that folks who view my art can take part and bring a piece of that joy and beauty into their lives as well.

Why I make art... As a kid I was very sensitive to my rural surroundings and spent a lot of time just looking around. I would make art so that I could keep a record of my impressions of what I found interesting or beautiful, and that evoked a pleasurable emotion in me. I remember drawing plants, trees, birds, rocks, fields and barns, because that was what I saw everyday. I use more color in my art than I did back then, but even after all these years I still make art for the same reason, keeping impressions and pleasurable emotions.

The viewer is the other half of the equation... my goal is to make artwork that resonates and recreates the same pleasurable emotion in others that I had creating it. That’s how all the arts work, the creation part fulfills the artist, and the consumption part of the art fulfills the viewer/listener.

Essentially my goal is to make myself and others happy at the same time… as an artist, this is a gift I was given to share.


sunflower painting


What challenges do artists face on their creative journey, and what is the significance of creating art despite self-doubt and external criticism?

The challenge of of creativity, is that often the journey towards being an artist is fraught with well intentioned loved ones trying to dissuade you from the path in an attempt to hang their own limiting beliefs on you.

What non-artistic people often don’t realize, is that being a sensitive creative person and also needing to express that, isn’t something you choose, it’s just who you are.

Artistic vulnerability... Often artistic people are also introverts, struggling with their own creativity, skills and ability, to execute on their ideas in order to make something unique that matches the original vision. That can only be achieved through private and solitary exploration, by reaching into your heart and soul in an attempt to give voice to your light. The second part of the struggle is that in order for that creativity to have an impact on others, you also need to have the courage and confidence in your personal expression to share it openly with the world! You leave your new creation, and by extension yourself, vulnerable and open to criticism not only by strangers but by those closest to you.

When you’re just starting out on the creative path, any negative words can break through the fragile shield that protects your ego. Confidence is hard won and too easily disturbed. I know many folks who abandoned hopes of an artistic career in their early years based on a few misplaced negative words from someone whose opinion they valued.

Artistic mindset and confidence... Even if you’ve been a professional artist for years, as I have, sitting down at the easel is still daunting, the idea that anything is possible as long as it fits within the rectangle of this piece of stretched canvas. The thought that you could create something that might be of benefit to the world is liberating, intimidating, scary, exciting, and fraught with artistic mindset issues around confidence, value, and self-worth. All that happens before even dipping the paintbrush in the paint to make the first mark.

What I learned creating thousands of paintings... My advice for those just starting their artistic journey, is that it does get easier over time. Each painting hones your skills. Each experiment both successful and unsuccessful, adds to your knowledge of what is possible, each piece gives you just a bit more confidence in your ability to convey your vision, express your artistic voice, and stand in the face of criticism.

When a collector purchases an original painting, all of that is part of what they are buying. All the years of dedicated time to build the skills and mindset to create a work of art that actually has value to the world.

Creating art, any art, is not easy.... Creating good art requires time, sacrifice and dedication. Creating great art is akin to flying with the angels when mind, spirit, and experience come together to form a vision of unique clarity and beauty. 

Artistic mindset is key... It’s with lofty ideals in my head and heart that every day I sit in my studio in front of a canvas, trying to conjure magic. Maybe I’ll succeed and maybe not. Every day is different, but for me and for artists all over the world, the journey and the chance to bring something unique into the world is worth all the effort and courage to overcome self-doubt, with hopes of creating beauty in the world where it didn’t exist before.


art in progress


What is the most rewarding aspect of being an artist, and how does the label 'artist' influence one's perception of the world?

I think the most rewarding part of being an artist is the journey you take.

‘Artist’ is a loaded label... The long tradition and history of those labeled as ‘artist’ has influence how that label is perceived. It means you’re gifted, talented, special, your vision is elevated. It’s a lot to live up to, but at the same time when you have the confidence to label yourself an ‘artist ‘it’s as though you give yourself permission to be different in the world and how you see the world. That permission lets you put on the ‘artist glasses’ and open yourself to seeing and thinking about everything you are seeing through that lens.

The luxury of being an artist... If painting is a type of organized seeing, it follows that it takes time to consider, understand and organize what you’re seeing, while also being sensitive to the emotions that you’re feeling as you see it, (whatever 'it' is). People who are not artists rarely take that sort of time to perceive the world around them. That time is a luxury that artist have to afford themselves, as that is the only way to fully immerse yourself in creativity. The more time and thought you commit to the inspiration, creative process, and skills in crafting the vision... the better the resulting art will be.

If it is in your nature, then leaning into being an artist is a gift to yourself, but it’s a gift that requires a lifetime to unwrap. 

 sketches and paintings


This blog post is based on an interview I gave to Canvas Rebel 

Back to blog
  • Art Words Definitions

    Art Words Definitions

    ‘Understanding Art Speak’, A quick intro art words guide with art specific word definitions for art buyers and new artists.

    Art Words Definitions

    ‘Understanding Art Speak’, A quick intro art words guide with art specific word definitions for art buyers and new artists.

  • On The Artist's Path

    On The Artist's Path

    Answering questions about my artistic journey & inspiration. These insights in this article will be of interest to anyone who is, or wants to become an artist... or is just curious...

    On The Artist's Path

    Answering questions about my artistic journey & inspiration. These insights in this article will be of interest to anyone who is, or wants to become an artist... or is just curious...

  • Lessons From Creating Daily Plein Air Paintings

    Lessons From Creating Daily Plein Air Paintings

    Lessons From Creating a Daily Plein Air Painting I wrote this blog post so I could share with you what I learned completing 30 plein air paintings in 30 days. I...

    Lessons From Creating Daily Plein Air Paintings

    Lessons From Creating a Daily Plein Air Painting I wrote this blog post so I could share with you what I learned completing 30 plein air paintings in 30 days. I...

1 of 3

Join the Art Collectors Club!

Sign-up to get VIP early access to new art collections, sales, freebies and more, all to your inbox... PLUS a 10%OFF coupon

Let's Connect! Follow me on social...

instagram icon link facebook icon link pinterest icon link youtube icon link