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Bite Into It Baby, Bite Into Your Art- Nancy Hillis MD

Bite Into It Baby, Bite Into Your Art- Nancy Hillis MD & Bruce Sawhill, PhD. This post ran previously.


Bite Into It, Baby. Bite Into Your Art


Nancy Hillis | New Smyrna, Mixed media painting on paper #theartistsjourney

New Smyrna – Acrylic, graphite, charcoal, & oil pastel on paper. Nancy Hillis

Paint For Yourself


Helen Frankenthaler talked about painting for yourself. She said that having an audience can be problematic because it gets in the way of painting for you. Are you painting for you?

Paintings that are alive and full of wonder show us you…..your voice, your vision, your life.

Show us what you love.



Don’t Miss The Moment


When doubt creeps in you overthink and overwork your paintings. We’ve all done this.

Frankenthaler tells the story of creating this really magical painting. It was one of those ‘forever’ paintings….you know, the one that works from the first paint stroke to the last.

We live for those paintings! But how easy it is to miss the moment.

She went away for some tea and came back to the painting sort of tired and thought: ‘oh it just needs a little green here……’.

And then she said: ‘I ruined it!’


You Must Trust Yourself


  • to find your way as you paint
  • to show yourself what you love
  • to get rid of what you don’t like

Bite Your Teeth Into It, Don’t Be Gummed To Death: Bite Into Your Art


We’ve got to learn to trust ourselves. Only then will we be able to play, experiment, and take bold risks. This is what makes exciting, powerful, expressively alive paintings. Better to bite your teeth into the painting, perhaps leaving it raw and undone, rather than overwork it by gumming it to death.

What you’re afraid of is where the juice is. 

So bite into it baby!

With love from our studio to yours,
Nancy & Bruce


P.S. If you’d like to explore biting into your canvas with expressive mark making, pair this reading with my self directed course: Activating The Canvas. Go HERE to find out more. 

Want to go deeper?

NOW is the perfect time to create.

This is the existential moment- this is the time where we see what our life is about. We notice what is meaningful and alive for us.


You might be thinking…I’m just too blocked, too down, too scared or frozen….or even just shy….

You may be feeling that you can’t create now….

But I say to you that you’re a creator…you’re an artist and artists create.

And there are many ways to create and be creative….

Pair your explorations in your art studio with our Art of the Possible Book Series!

The Artist’s Journey: Bold Strokes To Spark Creativity (The Art Of The Possible Series Book 1) was chosen for a Kindle Monthly Deal in the month of April 2023. Get your ebook copy of this award winning book for only $1.99.











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