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The Artist’s Work Ethic

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By Carol Ann Cain


Try to paint five or six days a week for at least three hours per session, and keep a consistent time schedule.


If you are not motivated, just begin the painting and you will have something to come back to the next session.


Consider your materials. Quality matters.


Never compare yourself to other artists, unless it is to study your strengths and weaknesses and improve on the latter.


You are not perfect, and your art will not be either.


Follow your instincts, and only follow advice consistent with your agenda.


Teach others. It will help you put your ideas/systems into concrete thoughts and words.


If you create several poor works in a row, you are probably growing as an artist. If you need to, paint what has been successful in the past to keep your confidence up. Then, return to your challenge.


Appreciating the efforts of another artist does not mean you need to like his or her work.


Get rid of your paintings you don’t like. I gesso over mine.


Narrow in on your strengths, medium and genre.


Consider all avenues of selling your work—galleries, exhibits, royalties and prints.


Your artist statement should be more about the artwork than the artist. Explain why someone would want to display your work in his or her home.


Carol Ann Cain’s most notable and influential teachers have been Morgan Samuel Price, Albert Handel, Anatoly Dverin and Quang Ho. She received the Best of Show honors at the Cultural Arts Association’s 2016 Annual Member Show, the 2013 Scenes of South Walton Art Show, the 2008 Beaux Arts Exhibit, and the 2007 Okaloosa Regional Airport Exhibit. She is the wife of Bill Cain, a minister, and the mother of four daughters—Gileah, Emma, Sarah and Marantha.

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