The Studio Blog

Art & Creativity Tips, Tricks, Insights and much more

FREE WORKSHOP: The #1 Secret to Creating Authentic Abstract Paintings You Love!

You question your talent, and painting becomes arduous and painful. You feel lost, wanting to express yourself but not knowing how. But when you learn the #1 secret to creating authentic abstract paintings, it all changes. Finally, you're able to paint with joy and create art you love.

Repairing A Tear In Your Painting On Paper

Exploring On Inexpensive Paper Recently I decided to explore working on inexpensive paper to get a feel again for the experience. The paper I use here is Borden & Riley, 90 lbs. It comes in rolls of various sizes. I cut this piece to 42" x 42". This is the paper I've used in live workshops when we're working large and have 15-20 artists working on numerous pieces over the course of a week. I think it's good to have lots of backup inexpensive paper on hand in the studio and this is one I...

read more

Reflections On Light In Art & Life

Light in art is a concept that threads through our experience as artists as well as throughout our lives from the moment of birth. My solo art exhibition of twenty five large scale paintings, The Map and the Territory, at the Marjorie Evans Gallery in Carmel, California contained a surreal surprise. Full Circle: From Shadows to Nuances in a Power Failure Life truly imitated art when half an hour into the reception as daylight was fading the lights went out! A tree in the Carmel Forest fell on...

read more
You fear mistakes in your art and life

You fear mistakes in your art and life

You fear mistakes in your art and life   The failed prototype, the flubbed line, the unoriginal song, the dreamless drama- and yet they are vital to your creativity- they lead to the adjacent possible and form the stepping stones, to new realizations, undiscoverable in any other way. This book is a reflection journal crafted to nudge you to explore the inner landscape of your creativity as well as believe in yourself as an artist.   Lessons and Creative Prompts Lessons and creative...

read more
Creativity Odyssey: Embracing The Unknown

Creativity Odyssey: Embracing The Unknown

  I recently spoke with an artist who said: "I want to paint in a freer, more abstract way but I end up feeling like I don't know what I'm doing". I understand this feeling. I've felt it innumerable times. It can feel disconcerting. Yet, I've come to realize that this is exactly where we need to be as artists- in the place of not knowing. I'm fond of this quote by artist Michael Cutlip:   When I go into the studio, if I already know what's going to happen, it's all over. Michael...

read more
The Artist’s Journey Creativity Reflection Journal- Say YES To Your Dreams

The Artist’s Journey Creativity Reflection Journal- Say YES To Your Dreams

It All Begins With Saying YES To Your Dreams What dream is calling you? What idea is whispering in your ear? It may be something you've sat on for years. But you tell yourself you'll get to it later. Life keeps getting in the way. Years pass. Before you know it, you look up and twenty years have elapsed and your dream has lain fallow. You realize you've got to finally say YES to your dreams or they'll never see the light of day. There's a power in decision- cutting through your fears and...

read more
Creativity, Epiphanies & Phase Transitions

Creativity, Epiphanies & Phase Transitions

As we approach January 6, I'm reminded of Epiphany, a time of historical, religious and celestial significance, which serves as inspiration for this blog post.  Epiphany, the time that marks the latest sunrise of the year in the Mediterranean latitudes is also noted by the Catholic celebration of the Magi. I'm fascinated with this confluence of the religious celebration, the celestial phenomenon of the latest sunrise, the connection to creativity and the roots of the word epiphany. This post...

read more
The Future As Past: The Paradoxical Nature Of Creativity

The Future As Past: The Paradoxical Nature Of Creativity

The Future As Past: The Paradoxical Nature of Creativity What's past is prologue William Shakespeare, The Tempest The New Year is often associated with reflection and resolution. I’ll go to the gym five times a week, I’ll read 52 books, I’ll lose 25 pounds, I’ll paint 100 paintings. Most of these resolutions melt away before the end of January. As is often said in the advertising business, “ads don’t work but campaigns do.” This means that a single impetus to do or change something is fragile...

read more
Paradoxes, Turning Points & Creativity

Paradoxes, Turning Points & Creativity

The Paradoxes of Creativity You were born to be a creator, to express your most meaningful and creative life. And, as you say yes to a life of creating, you realize that creating is rampant with paradoxes and dichotomies.     The Spontaneous and the Considered In abstract expressionist paintings we talk about the relationship between the spontaneous and the considered. We yearn for unfettered self expression, wild mark making and brushstrokes that surprise and enthrall us, yet we...

read more
The Creative Journey of Nourishment & Becoming

The Creative Journey of Nourishment & Becoming

    The Creative Journey of Nourishment & Becoming In the last two blog posts, Nourishing the Creativity of Your Inner Artist and The Cycles of Creativity I talked about the special properties of this dark time of year, a season that seems drab and dreary and moribund, but is paradoxically anything but. This is a time of marshaling of energies. In the landscape, a leafless and brown terrain belies the activity that is occurring unseen and underground. Much of the world is...

read more
Nourishing The Creativity Of Your Inner Artist

Nourishing The Creativity Of Your Inner Artist

Journeying Into The Labyrinth Last week’s blog post, Cycles of Creativity, touched upon the ideas of creativity, reflection, and the special potency of this dark time of year in the northern hemisphere. This is a time of paradox, of contrast between the inner and the outer experience. What could be a time of moroseness and sadness or even hibernation can also be a time of rebirth and quiet joy. In some places, the land is blanketed by snow, lending a pervasive silence- a softening and quieting...

read more

FREE WORKSHOP: The #1 Secret to Creating Authentic Abstract Paintings You Love!

You question your talent, and painting becomes arduous and painful. You feel lost, wanting to express yourself but not knowing how. But when you learn the #1 secret to creating authentic abstract paintings, it all changes. Finally, you're able to paint with joy and create art you love.

About Nancy Hillis
Nancy believes that your most astonishing work comes from deep exploration and experimentation. She encourages you to find the nascent, unexpressed parts of yourself, give voice to your subconscious experiences, and finally express YOU in your art and life.