Browsing: Letters

Letters
24 Johanna van Gogh

Dear Artist, Vincent van Gogh died in 1890. Theo van Gogh, art dealer and brother of Vincent, died six months later, in 1891. Johanna, Theo’s wife, inherited all the shop remainders including virtually all of Vincent’s work. She soon moved…

Letters
13 Still life

Dear Artist, A friend’s high schooler recently mentioned she was working on a still life assignment. “What are you doing?” I asked. “I’ve only just started,” she replied. Without a beat, I blurted a rhapsody of how she might go…

Letters
9 Overworked

Dear Artist, Yesterday, Rich Woy of Ocala, Florida asked, “How do you know when a painting is overworked? Are there boundaries or clues? Is this judgment left to the artist or the critic?” Thanks, Rich. Good question. Funnily, at dinner…

Letters
14 Burnout

Dear Artist, While painting and listening to my sister-in-law, Tamara’s podcast recently, American tech consultant Sara Wachter-Boettcher laid out the symptoms of burnout: “An increased sense of depersonalization – feeling distant from people or maybe yourself; exhaustion, foggy brain.” Referencing…

Letters
14 Heuristic painting

Dear Artist, Heuristic (pronounced hyu-RIS-tik) comes from the Greek heuriskein meaning “to discover.” The heuristic process means achieving some desired result by intelligent guesswork rather than by systematic formula. Generally used in the fields of invention, computer science, psychology and…

Letters
13 Ethics and art galleries

Dear Artist, Yesterday, Canadian art dealer Joshua Peters sent a letter to friends and patrons of his gallery: “I never thought I would have to say this because it’s so fundamental, but ethics matter. We all know this and we’re…

Letters
17 Tips for you

Dear Artist, Whenever I offer tips to fellow artists I’m aware that a tip may be valuable to one person and a poison pill to another. Lately, on the speaking circuit, I’ve been giving a little talk I call, “Two…

Letters
14 Autonomy

Dear Artist, In decades-old news that will surprise none of you, Danish, English and Swiss researchers have discovered that even though artists in Europe are mostly broke and depressed, they report higher job satisfaction than non-artists. Apparently, it has something…

Letters
9 In praise of the squint

Dear Artist, Yesterday, while hanging out in my studio with some fellow travellers, we got worked up about squinting. We agreed it is one of the most important things we do. “Squinting demands a twice-weekly letter on its own,” someone…

Letters
22 The irony of creativity

Dear Artist, A recent study has determined that status-quo bias – the type of cognitive bias that keeps people preferring that things stay the same so as to reduce uncertainty – makes it harder to encourage or even recognize creativity.…

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