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The balance between precision and creativity
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Whether or not you think you have artistic talent, this book will give you the self-confidence to explore your own hidden potentials. Do you remember being a child and the pure joy brought on by a box of crayons and piece of paper? Do you still find yourself sketching away every time you pick up a pencil?

Book Look: ‘Making Marks: Discover the Art of Intuitive Drawing’ by Elaine Clayton

Whether you are sketching in a notebook or carving your name in the sand, this simple, stream-of-consciousness activity is a window into your deepest, truest self. With beautiful black-and-white and full-color illustrations, Making Marks is a powerful guide to self-discovery. Tap into your unconsciousness as artist and spiritual guide Elaine Clayton takes you on a journey of the soul. I have experienced the sadness of losing best friends to sudden premature deaths. At 67, if my luck and health hold, I could still be painting for another quarter-century.

I had the privilege of knowing a very lovely lady who has just passed away at and was still painting at ! In my experience mindfulness meditation with some openness to basic principles of acceptance and so forth can improve things such as concentration, intuitive intelligence, relationships with others and our general sense of well-being. Meditation was an enormous help to me during my difficult years. It improved my mental stamina, insight, empathy and equanimity — all of which are also important attributes for an artist in any medium.

Making marks intuitively

Some of my best works were done on top of failed paintings and are all the more energized for that! Research the classic tenets and practical aspects of your medium, eg.

Scratching the Surface: An Introduction to Creating with Cold Wax Medium

And remember that for painters at least it is generally helpful to practice drawing skills as often as you can. Make sure that you get out and about enough to build up your visual vocabulary and find ideas for future projects. Read more about Robert Ellison on his artist profile.

You can also view his works on his ARTmine page.

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More inspiring stories in our upcoming articles for the Self-Taught Artist series are coming up. Looking to enhance your career and build a presence in New York?


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Being self taught myself and now learning and practicing I am glad to see your approach as refreshing and creative. I am trying realism and portraits in pastels.

Making Marks Book – Elaine Clayton

Thanks for sharing your art. I enjoyed it very much. So much guilt and social forbiddenness to let one go on what makes one happy and unique. I am much obliged to you and the others for all the kind comments about the interview and my paintings. Like this article? Sign up for the monthly newsletter with new articles and the latest gallery updates. Join the discussion Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

Fady Dec 16, really nice article and helpful as I belong to the same kind ofself-taught artist. Cliff Adams Dec 16, Wonderful use of colour Uplifting.

Making Marks Book

A natural talent. Robert Ellison Dec 23, I am much obliged to you and the others for all the kind comments about the interview and my paintings. Subscribe for the latest updates Like this article? This website uses cookies to improve your experience.