2021 Week 11

Welcome to this week’s Process blog πŸ™‚ πŸ’ If you’re new, this blog series is a journal / accountability tool / resource for my pursuit of a career as an artist. Thanks for following along!  With finals looming this week’s content is on the lighter side, but I still wanted to check in and share some of the awesome things I’ve found this week and share my weekly paintings!

Meme of the Week

Rather than me poorly recapping the week in news and pop culture, I’m introducing the meme of the week to do this better than I ever could.

I personally think Matilda and her Mom’s outfits are on point but that’s just my opinion …

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This week I read Atomic Habits by James Clear and anyone I’ve talked to this week has had to listen to me go on and on about how amazing this book is. I cannot shut up about it. The main gist of the book is that small daily habits over time can make a massive change your life. Very good news if you’re someone who’s trying to be a full time artist one painting and blog post at a time πŸ™‚

Clear notes the power of good habits are not something that will have immediate gratification, but in the long term will add up to something you can look back on and be proud of, like a robust portfolio. I’ve had a goal since moving to London to create something every day. I hadn’t even realized how many paintings I’ve done since moving to London until this week I realized I’ve run out of wall space to display them all! One of the other things he mentions is that you shouldn’t focus on perfection, but rather the act of trying and failing will lead to improvement. He writes more on this subject in this article. This is something I try to repeat in the back of my head when I finish a painting and am trying to stop myself from making a thousand tiny changes or before I post a painting to our instagram page. An area in my art practice where I’ve applied his methods is to make sure when I’m painting all the tools I need are within reach. This way I’m less inclined to take a break or get distracted interrupting my flow when rummaging around for my materials. Another is to clean up my workspace after I’m finished with something. This way whenever I want to start something new, all the cleanup is done, and I can get right to it without interrupting a burst of creativity.

I should note that I saw this book recommended by blogger Anna Grace Newell and didn’t go into reading it thinking I needed all these changes in my daily routine, I mainly wanted to see what the hype was about. However, since reading it I’ve identified several aspects of my daily life that I can add in improvements and also certain things I am doing that I need to keep up. On a more personal note, I’ve been trying to be more diligent about my morning and nighttime skincare. I noticed that if I forget to bring my clean face cloth into the bathroom when I brush my teeth I am much less likely to do my full skincare routine. Now, every time I go to brush my teeth, I remember to bring in a clean face cloth, and I haven’t broken the streak of doing my full skincare regiment morning and night since! As many examples as I’d love to give, none can say them better than the author himself. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy!

Atomic Habits by James Clear

This week I started taking the Painting Foundations: Acrylic course on LinkedIn Learning by Will Kemp. So far I’ve only just started the course and haven’t gotten to any of the painting tutorials, but the material has already been extremely insightful. In the course Kemp talks about the different types of acrylic paint, brushes, and mediums in great detail. This is something that I’ve honestly been pretending I know up until now. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have no formal artist training, and not until this course did I fully grasp the different flow levels, pigments, and the quality between artist and student acrylic paints. The course made me shudder because they use SO much paint to teach with that my wallet was screaming. So it was definitely nice to watch the instructor throwing all that paint around and mixing different mediums instead of spending probably close to 200$ on all the materials to try them out for yourself! I have access to LinkedIn Learning through my university, and chances are if you’re in school so do you. If not there is a 30 day free trial!

Painting Foundations: Acrylic course on LinkedIn Learning

Later in the week I listened to this episode of the Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast which paired really well with Atomic Habits. This again was more about productivity rather than specifically art, but it gave some really great insights which I’ve started applying to my art process. Lauryn and Michael Bosstick share their insights on how to take control of your days and be as productive as possible. As a remote student, it’s my responsibility to watch lectures and write my reports on my own time, as well as fitting in time to paint and research for my blog series. Up until now I’ve been operating week-by-week and basically scrambling at the end of each week to catch up on everything.

Although it seems like a small thing, my biggest takeaway from the pod was Lauryn’s suggestion to meticulously scheduling out your whole week, hour-by-hour in a calendar like google calendar. I heard this and thought that my days were scheduled out enough, then the following day I realized that my day actually wasn’t planned out at all. Up until now I’ve only had my mandatory live sessions for school scheduled on my google calendar, but not things like “Start new painting” “Start blog draft”, “Watch Data Science lecture” “Exercise” “Research for Dissertation”. I’ve been doing these to-dos, but they’ve been thrown in at random in the free spots of my day pretty chaotically. My goal for the following week is to plan out every day hour-by-hour, and hope it’ll allow me to complete more paintings every week than I previously have been.

I’d definitely recommend listening to this episode for more productivity insight (links: Podcast App, Spotify)!

The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast

Paintings of the Week

To date the 100cmx100cm abstract landscape painting is the biggest piece I’ve ever done and I really loved painting this size. It’s also the first abstract piece I’ve done in a looong time. I have to confess though that these were done some time ago and not in the past week. The Wine and Cheese painting was a challenge because it’s all black, white, and grays. I normally heavily rely on color so this was a big challenge for me. The windowsill painting is also from my own reference photo of a home in Bloomsbury, London. Painting from my own reference photos is something I’ve been working on. Here they are πŸ™‚


Abstract Landscape 100cm x 100cm Acrylic On Canvas
Wine and Cheese – Acrylic on Paper
Bloomsbury Flower Box – Acrylic on Paper

Thanks for recapping with me, don’t forget to check out the blog and our instagram pages for more content, and catch you here next week!

-Sierra 🌻

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