Springtime, Where are you?

Love Grows Best – 18″x24″ Oil by Cheryl Peddie

I am so sick of brown and bare trees. Unfortunately, I’m finding nothing inspiring about the drab greys, browns and cold winds outside. And the kicker is that without any leaves on the trees, the city noise is inescapable at my house.

Staying creative is tough when our environment doesn’t cooperate. It can drag at our moods, pulling us down into long days of low productivity. It’s a challenge to resist the pull, but it’s also a necessity. Not just because there are still shows to prepare for, or client deadlines to meet. I used to rely on those kinds of pressures to – well, bully myself into productivity. I think there’s a better way though. And frankly, there needs to be. Those hard-hearted tactics never work for long. Once the inevitable post-deadline crash comes, you’re sucked down into low productivity again – from sheer exhaustion.

So, I know what doesn’t work. What does work? For me, the answer is still a work in progress. Lately I’ve been scheduling sketches – no bigger than 5″ square – into my mornings. I’m doing them to give my creativity a chance to wake up for the day. Fortunately I love painting on small canvasses. It’s a skill I stumbled into early in my career. It’s a very peaceful, gentle way to start the day. And once I’m finished I’m better able to begin tackling a large commission, or sorting out some tricky perspective in a larger work that is ongoing. If you’d like to see and/or purchase some of my morning sketches, I’ve created a new page here on my website where you can do just that. Have a look at: cherylpeddie.ca/cheryls-art-shop/

I’d love to hear from other artists – what tricks do you use to keep you productive in studio?

Thanks for stopping by,

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7 thoughts on “Springtime, Where are you?

  1. Hi Cheryl: I am going down town in Palm Desert this afternoon to take some photos of street scenes. It is really beautiful here and the weather has been great so hope to get lots of good pictures to paint when I get back home. Missing your classes and you but have been trying to find some time to paint here. Take care and see you in April. Lana

    Sent from my iPad


  2. We are in Palm Springs until the middle of March and then in Napa for a week so I should be able to get lots of great pictures. I will forward some to you. My brother-in-law is taking a photography course and he has been taking lots of photos of the desert and sending them to me also. I didn’t take any classes this winter but have a book by Johannes Vloothuis that I am working through on how to paint Landscapes and I do the exercises at the end of each chapter so learning lots. Sounds like you are having a mild winter at home but I know what you mean by the drab colors this time of the year. You have to come down here sometime, the desert is really beautiful at least in Palm Springs, it’s like a little vortex here. Take care. Lana

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Hmmm… my tricks. Must feed my soul. Get out in nature. Visit some galleries in person or online. Look through old sketches and ideas. Finally pick up that book I bought to help me get through creative blockage. If all that fails… do a few hours of housework! Suddenly that canvas does not look so unappealing!

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