Others have no data for computing our orbit other than our past acts. — Ralph Waldo Emerson Twenty years ago, a business coach recommended I read the now out-of-print Nichecraft. The book convinced me to specialize—a lesson I've carried with me into my move into professional painting. Specializing...

An interest in things is and always was at the root of art. — John Sloan From as early as he can remember, self-taught Tennessee artist H.R. Lovell has loved things—the more ordinary, the better. "I might see things different as a painter that somebody else may have...

Most artists trust their intuition. Sometimes it leads you to make mistakes, but that hardly matters. There is no such thing as failure, you just learn from it and go on. — David Hockney One advantage of oil painting resides in the medium's "forgiving" nature. You can wipe...

My artist statement takes over 300 words to describe what I hope to capture in my oil paintings. What I wish to capture, in as few words as possible, is average everydayness. The term—a favorite of mine—comes from philosopher Martin Heidegger's colossal book Being and Time. Average everydayness...

Twenty years ago, I attended a lecture by the renowned architect Frank Gehry. Meek and plain-speaking—like most Canadians—Gehry described his signature design process: "First, you get the building  right. Then, you make it weird." Gehry meant a building must be structurally sound and functional first; a Gehry...

Selling your paintings is a lot like busking, a word that derives from the Italian buscare, meaning to "get." Painters, like buskers, sell their art not in hopes of getting rich, but in hopes of getting on, as in "I'll leave you to get on with...

In Next Avenue, I spotlight the work and careers of four "second-act" artists, proving seasoned folks can flourish if they follow their passion. Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and enjoy! ...

I'm often asked what the term in my artist statement alla prima means. It's Italian for "at once." I painted "Jug and Friends," for example, all at once, in a two-hour time-span. I painted it directly, seamlessly, or, as the Germans say, aus einem Guss—literally, "from a single...

It’s not so easy writing about nothing. — Patti Smith A few years ago I met Noah Scalin, who launched his career as a professional artist by creating a skull every day for a year. "Creativity is a practice," Scalin said. His advice was simple: Pick something—anything—and make one every...

Deer-hunting season has begun in my neighborhood. You can tell by the intermittent pop-pop pop-pop of rifle-fire emerging from the woods nearby in the autumn afternoons. Hunting season is all year round for painters. We stalk not game, but pretty things to paint. The whole world is our...