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Do you stick to certain daily habits? Would you think that habits help (or hinder) your creativity?
This might surprise you, but many creative people have strong daily habits. And we go to enormous lengths to maintain them.
Habits allow our mental bandwidth to be channeled to create new stuff (art, music, computer programs, legal strategies, etc), rather than being wasted on the mundane (for example, which route should I take to work?).
If this topic fascinates you (as it does me), you might like to check out the highly rated book ‘Daily Rituals: How Artists Work‘ by Mason Currey.
One of the conclusions of ‘Daily Rituals’ is that there is no set of habits that is best for creativity. But when we develop habits that suit our values and lifestyle, we are setting ourselves up for success.
Some of my habits include eating oatmeal for breakfast every day (all 7 days of the week, all 52 weeks of the year, with very rare exceptions), and heading to my studio to start painting as soon as my sons leave for school.
I have some other daily habits (bad ones) that I’m trying to kick and that do not contribute to my creativity – like eating far too much chocolate. But that’s a subject for another time.
What daily habits do you find most helpful?
At cocktail parties and other fun social events, people often ask me questions about life as an artist. They are answered in my ‘Top 50 Questions’ list. This blog post is the latest addition to my Top 50. To see the other questions & answers, click here.
Ever see a painting that included unusual textures and objects (rope, a child’s math homework, dried flowers, hex nuts) and wonder why? Why on earth did the artist use that stuff?
For example, why would an artist (in this case me) put silicon wafers and silica sand in an oil painting? Great question. Silicon wafers and silica sand were chosen for ‘Flourishing’ for their meaning, and for their visual interest.
Silicon wafers and silica sand represent full-tilt, no-holds-barred, human creativity – creativity in its most universal sense, and also as related to the technology innovation happening in Silicon Valley.
These textures also represent the ‘former’ me – who enjoyed 20 years in the computer and networking industry – and the ‘current me’ – who loves living and working as a full-time artist in Silicon Valley.
Free! e-Catalog of Holly Van Hart’s art
Originally posted here in 2016, and reposted now in honor of the Saratoga marching band
The amazing Marching Band at Saratoga High School has been selected to march in the 2016 Rose Bowl Parade. Congratulations!!!
In the Marching Band’s honor, I am posting this watercolor painting, ‘Saratoga Rose’, created a few years ago.
Once again, a huge congratulations to the Saratoga HS Marching Band!!!!
Every painting tells a story. When we look at a painting, we absorb and interpret the story in our own unique way.
My abstract nature paintings are about the beauty and peace of nature.
This painting, ‘Serenity’, shows 3 robin’s eggs, resting serenely in their nest. The strong reds in the nest, branches, leaves, and buds represent the fullness of life outside the nest. The lives of the 3 siblings in this nest are full of possibilities. When the eggs hatch into birds, they will experience all that life has to offer outside the nest.
That’s my story for ‘Serenity’. What’s yours? (Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Originally published in 2013, and just updated
New! High quality prints available
Holly Van Hart’s award winning nature paintings are now available as high quality prints. You can shop online here for prints on canvas, framed prints, acrylic prints, metal prints, and more.
Scroll below to see the options, or click for a larger view of available prints. Enjoy shopping!
Looking for a special holiday gift for a loved one?
Please join me for my Holiday Open Studio show!
Holiday-sized smaller paintings, prints, notecards, and books are available at this show. Big paintings too.
This is your chance to get first dibs on paintings before many of them are shipped to shows in Beverly Hills and Taiwan in early 2018.
Dates: Saturday December 2, 2017, 11 am – 5 pm
and Sunday December 3, 2017 11am – 5pm (Can’t make these dates? No problem! Click for details.)
Location: 20830 Boyce Lane, Saratoga, CA 95070
This is an opportunity to visit, see and purchase paintings, and to choose art-inspired gifts for the holidays. Gifts are available for every price point, starting at $50.
Bring your friends and family. Enjoy refreshments. Stay a while.
Studio tours will be offered throughout the day.
Seeing art in person is the absolute best way to experience it. Please take this opportunity to visit! Add it to your calendar today.
See you then,
CAN’T MAKE IT?
If you’d like a sneak peek before the event (and the opportunity to have first choice to purchase available work), email me at holly@hollyvanhart or call 650 646 5590 and let’s make a date. Click for details – Studio Visit.
For more events, see hollyvanhart.com/events.
For news on upcoming open studio and gallery events, sign up for my mailing list. (One email every 3 weeks.)
You know that sense of grandeur we get when surrounded by a beautiful forest? That’s what I was aiming to capture with this painting, Woodland Symphony.
When giving this painting its name, the word ‘symphony’ came to mind. In a great symphony, all the musical notes work together in intriguingly complex and beautiful ways. In a painting, the color notes have to work together in similarly intriguing ways.
btw, if you’re curious, here are some in-progress pics of Woodland Symphony –
Thanks for stopping by. If you’d like to see more abstracted forest paintings, click here.
For purchase info, email email@example.com.
Hi there. Meet ‘Possibilities on High’.
In the upper right of this painting, you can see a big and colorful bird’s nest. It’s sitting up high on the branches of huge magnolia tree, on a warm summer day.
The nest looks peacefully and securely settled in the tree. At the same time, it is quite exposed.
If I were an egg, I’d love to live in this nest in a magnolia tree (despite the risks of exposure). Would you?
(If you’re wondering “What’s up with all the nests?”, click here.)
Originally published in 2013, and just updated and republished